Italy is leading the way in experiential tourism and is one of the best providers of the emerging niche market of experiential tours and holidays. That should come as no surprise because Italy has a long history of inventing and pioneering new trends and fashions. Here is a short – very short – list of things Italy has given to the world: ballet, jeans, the jacuzzi, the piano, the violin, the typewriter, the icecream cone, the espresso machine, and the sonnet. This very short summary of things Italy came up with doesn’t even include the Romans, who invented the alphabet we are using right now. The list goes on, but the point is clear. Italy invents cool things and gives them to the rest of the world. Italy does it first, and best. And it is the exact same with experiential tourism. That’s why we at Artes believe travel agents should consider working with us when it comes to experiential tourism. Without blowing our own horns, we were one of the first experiential tour providers in Italy and the first to come up with stories to live together!
Perhaps it is not quite accurate to describe experiential tourism as a niche market because it has developed significantly over recent years and is becoming more popular, and experiential tours are becoming more sought after. In any case, because Italy was at the forefront of developing experiential tours it is one of the best destinations in the world for such holidays. Add to that the fact that Italy is the home of the most UNESCO world heritage sites in the world and it is easy to understand why Italy is the best destination for experiential tours.
Hard statistics – a few facts
As we mentioned in a previous article, tourism in Italy is in a very healthy state. The figures speak for themselves, but just to reiterate, the number of tourists visiting Italy has been increasing over the last years, and these numbers are forecast to increase even more. Italian tourists are a big driver of this trend, however, what is very interesting to note is that by 2028 there will be up to 82 million international tourists visiting Italy. This could potentially generate 56 billion euros in profit for the experiential tourism sector in Italy. In other words, it is a huge cake, which keeps on growing, and everyone can have a slice.
Double pronged benefit of experiential tourism: reducing over-tourism, while increasing quality of tourism for your clients
Some Italian cities are absolutely swamped with tourists, and the sheer amount of people “invading” cities like Venice, Florence, Rome, Milan, can actually damage the world famous sites. With this in mind the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Tourism has begun several initiatives to attract tourists to smaller, less well known areas in Italy. One such initiative is called “Most beautiful villages in Italy.” The idea is to spread out the tourists which benefits the big cities as there are less tourists, but also the smaller towns and villages by increasing tourist business there. Of course, these areas are just as interesting to tourists from within Italy, and the rest of the world. This idea however, does not only come from the Ministry. Nowadays tourists are more conscientious of the impact they have on the environment they visit, and are open to exploring the world in a more sustainable, but also novel way. Thanks to its unique approach, experiential tourism can impact positively on the future nature of tourism, making it both more sustainable and interesting. This is part of the reason why experiential tourism has such a bright future ahead of it.
The experiential tourism market firmly establishes itself with BITESP
The slightly unwieldy acronym BITESP stands for Borsa dell’Incoming e del Turismo Esperienziale. It is translated into English as The Italian Incoming and Experience Based Tourism Fair. The first ever event dedicated to experiential based tourism was held in Venice in November, 2018. It provided an opportunity for businesses in the tourist sector to network, and for travel agencies to meet and get to know tour operators and experiential tour creators. Perhaps the most significant point of the BITESP fair however, is the fact that it shows how the experiential tourism market is established and organised. Experiential tourism is no longer a “niche market” which is kind of “out there.” Experiential tourism is a well developed market with abundant potential.
Who to contact for experiential tours – Artès
We were one of the first tour operators and creators to be active in experiential tourism. That’s why we have such a wealth of offers in this area. And because we have been doing this for as long as anyone, we have the best tour operators and guides within the experiential tourism sector. We are not one to rest on our laurels though, and are continually looking to improve and develop our offers, create new experiential tours, and to find new, motivated, expert tour guides to provide tourists with unforgettable holiday experiences. Contact us today so we can begin working together and providing your customers with the best experiential tours available in Italy, and therefore, on the planet.