22-12-2018 / Web Article

The numbers of a rapidly growing sector

TOURISM is a powerful job generator. He currently supports, directly or indirectly, one in ten jobs in the world, contributing 10.2% to the gross domestic product of the entire planet. In order to have a size, it has almost twice the number of employees in the financial sector and seven times those in the auto sector.

In 2017 tourism contributed, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), for 10.4% to the world GDP, 10.3% to the European and 13% to the Italian. In Europe better than we are Greece (19.7%), Portugal (17.3%) and Spain (14.9%), while Germany is 10.7% and France at 8.9%. In terms of jobs, we are 14.7% of those employed in Italy, 11.7% in Europe and 9.9% in the world. Greece 24.8%, Portugal 20.4%, Spain 15.1%, while Germany is 13.8% and France 10%.

Direct, indirect and induced contribution
A weight not just that in the calculations of the World Travel & Tourism Council, however, is determined by the contribution of tourism to the type of direct, indirect and induced. By direct contribution we mean the value generated by all the structures, businesses and services strictly connected to tourism (hotels and other accommodation facilities, air transport, entertainment activities, travel agencies, etc.), by indirect contribution we refer instead to all activities deriving from the sectors indirectly affected by the sector, although not formally part of the tourism sector. By induced contribution we mean instead that of workers in the sector. On this basis, in 2017 the WTTC defines in Italy the total tourism contribution to GDP estimated at 13% and composed for 42.1% by the direct part, for 37.4% by indirect and for 20.5% by that induced. It should however be stressed that while the direct contribution is an official figure and the indirect is scientifically calculable with a reasonable approximation, the results of the sub-contract change a lot according to the method adopted. For this reason, the most reliable and widespread data gives tourism a weight on the Italian GDP in the order of 11%, because it stops at direct and indirect components.

We now come to outline the characteristics on the supply and demand side of this sector and business.

Tourist demand
On the demand side, in 2017 international arrivals (1.32 billion tourists) grew by 6.8% compared to the previous year. In Italy 58.7 million foreign travelers arrived, an increase of 11.8% compared to 2016. This is the highest rate of increase among the top five countries (WTTC data).

The Bank of Italy's tourism payments balance reported a positive net balance of € 14,598 million in 2017 (+ 5.7% on 2016). Foreign travelers in Italy have spent 39.155 million euros (+ 7.7% compared to 2016), while tourism spending by Italians abroad was 24.557 million euros (+ 8.9% on 2016). Germany, with 6.6 billion euros, is confirmed as our main source of origin for expenditure, with a percentage increase of double-digit percentage on 2016 (+ 14.7%). This is followed by the US (4.5 billion euros), France (3.9 billion euros), the United Kingdom (3 billion euros) and Switzerland (6.1 billion euros): all up compared to 2016, excluding Use that lose 1.7%.

In terms of overnight stays, Italy is a bronze medal for presences of residents and not among the countries of the area Schengen, behind Spain and France and before Germany (Eurostat data). In 2017, the Belpaese grew by 6% compared to 2016, Spain by + 3.7%, France by + 7%. Considering only the presence of foreigners, Italy, with 212 million nights (+ 6.3% compared to 2016) is in second place in the Schengen area after Spain, which still has a smaller increase (+ 4%). According to ISTAT provisional data, total arrivals in Italy in 2017, amounting to 122.2 million, grew by 4.5% compared to 2016. The largest increase is due to foreign flows which grew by 5.2%, while Italians increase but at lower rates (+ 3.8%). Regarding the presences, the 427.1 million total overnight stays of 2017, confirmed by Eurostat, see a slight increase in the incidence of Italians on foreigners (50.3% the former, 49.7% the latter).

The offer
The Italian offer can count on 178.4 thousand hospitality businesses, of which 18.6% is represented by the hotel sector, with the middle class hotels in the first position (15,355) and the remaining 81.4% by the complementary establishments (145.283 ), of which over half is represented by rented accommodation (approximately 81 thousand). If we consider the beds, the gap between hotel and non-hotel structures is greatly reduced: hotels have 2.2 million (45.5% of the total) of beds, while the complementary 2.7 million, with the share largest part represented by campsites and tourist villages, correspond to 50.4 of total.

Text by © Enrico Pedretti