Authentic Italy is best liked

The Fondazione Italia Patria della Bellezza presents the results of the research carried out in collaboration with GfK
Authentic Italy is best liked

Italy is best liked where it is most authentic. This is one aspect that clearly emerged from the “Viaggio in Italia” research, commissioned by the “Fondazione Italia Patria della Bellezza” to the research firm GfK.

“A study on the perception that foreigners have of Italy is a fundamental element in a construction and enhancement project of the Competitive Identity of our country.” said Maurizio di Robilant, president of the Foundation. “The study provides a picture of the experience of trips in Italy, through the voice of our visitors. A necessary starting point for the mission that our Foundation aims at, which is to spread awareness of the economic, cultural and social potential that is the soul of Italy.”

“We conducted this study with the aim to obtain feedback on our country from those who have visited it in the past three years. 5,000 interviews were conducted in the seven foreign countries with the highest ranking in terms of trade and tourism with Italy (Germany, Usa, China, Uk, France, Japan and Russia). What emerged was an important presentation of the positive and critical aspects perceived of our country,” says Paolo Anselmi, vice president of research firm GfK, in charge of the research.

Our country can arouse great enthusiasm. 49% of tourists that replied “very much” to the question, “Overall, how satisfied were you of your travel-holiday experiences in Italy?”, which is significantly ahead of figures recorded for other European countries such as Spain (43 %), France (40%), Greece (38%), Uk (37%) and Germany (34%). Our innate ability to welcome, our talent in being able to offer a rich and exciting experience, shows an important competitive advantage in our favour. Overall satisfaction, in fact, reaches 85% if we take into account those who answered “very much” and “very”.

What wins over most is our “lifestyle”. To come to Italy means to personally experience this daily happiness. It is not surprising that the level of satisfaction is considerably higher than the average (49%) when the trip includes regions that are generally excluded from classic tours, but can offer the experience of the genuine and authentic Italian identity, such as in Friuli Venezia Giulia (55%), Piedmont and Valle d’Aosta (58%) and especially Calabria and Basilicata (68%).

To date, however, tourism is highly concentrated in four regions – Lazio, Tuscany, Lombardy, Veneto – while a thousand other wonders remain undiscovered. On the other hand, 61% of those who have been in Italy declare a strong desire to return, and are aware that the Italian experience cannnot be boiled down to one trip.

One of the most significant findings is that, the higher the level of satisfaction of the trip, higher is the propensity to “buy Italian”, reflecting the fact that tourism is a strategic asset for the country not only in itself but also for the success of our export. Of 100 very satisfied visitors, at least 89 will buy an Italian product: accessories (37%), clothing (40%), wine (60%) and food (64%).

After the positive notes, there are also complaints. Visitors from all the countries involved highlight areas for improvement. In particular the Germans, which represent more than a third of the visitors, and whose judgment is on average among the least positive for all aspects surveyed, and the Asians, which underline that Italy struggles with its overall dialogue ability with these cultures. This is an important growing target and Italy’s ability is today modest, but potentially in the future it could prove to be a critical success factor.

Finally, for all, prices are a problem: transparency and good value for money are the two most critical areas. In conclusion, what emerges from the research is that Italy is well loved: the distinctive features of our country well interpret the need for authenticity, identity and sociality, which are among the priorities among the most qualified visitors. But to seize this opportunity to its full potential improvements will be needed.

© All rights reserved