Recently released figures for 2013 have shown that tourism to Italy generated a massive €73 billion during the year. This figure includes some 831 million tourist arrivals, made up of both Italian tourists (60.9%) and foreign visitors (39.1%).
According to a report by the Observatory on Tourism, UNIONCAMERE-ISNART, the average expenditure by tourists also saw positive movement during 2013. For domestic tourists, average spending rose from €67 per day in 2012 to €72 per day in 2013. Foreign tourists were also happier to part with their cash, spending an average of €78 per day in 2013, compared to €69 per day the previous year.
In terms of nationality, the biggest spenders were Russian tourists at €149.48 per capita, followed by Japanese (€122), Spanish (€111.17), British (€105.14), German (€104.42) and American (€102.34).
Dawn Cavanagh-Hobbs, founder of Italian fractional ownership company Appassionata, comments,
“Foreign tourism continues to be an important source of revenue for Italy. In times of economic uncertainty and increased competition, tourist flows from all over the world have helped to bolster the economy and strengthen our property industry.
“The increasingly positive economic news coming out of Italy is encouraging foreign investors to look very closely at the country’s housing market. With the increase of tourism helping to free Italy from recession, many overseas visitors are looking to make their stay more permanent and snap up holiday home bargains before prices begin to rise again.”
Indeed, Italy is attracting visitors from far and wide, especially from Asia, with a fast track being opened for visas for Chinese tourists making it easier to visit this ever popular country. There were 57,000 visa applications to the Consulate-General of Italy in Guangzhou last year, a surge of 20 percent from the previous year, with tourism visa applications making up three-quarters of last year´s total.
The combination of lowered market prices and an increase of foreign tourist spending mean that now really could be the perfect time for buyers to invest in their dream Italian second home, so what are you waiting for?
There are currently many properties at great prices throughout Italy, such as Appassionata’s latest project in Le Marche’s medieval town of Petritoli – Casa Tre Archi. A three bedroom townhouse packed with original features, including castle-like turrets and a gorgeous roof terrace with views across the rolling hills all the way down to the Adriatic coast, the property provides stunning holiday accommodation at a fraction of the usual cost – just £65,000 for a share that entitles owners to five weeks’ usage per year. Within walking distance of fantastic traditional restaurants, bars, shops, and even its own theatre, this location has it all.