Cristiano Radaelli, the Commissioner for the national tourist board in Italy, ENIT, has announced at the first conference to look at coastal tourism that one in five foreign tourists choose Italy for sea holidays. The conference was held in Favignana, Sicily Island and this is the first national conference to take place exploring the coastal and maritime tourism of Italy.
The Commissioner has said that more than 8 million foreign tourists who visit Italy select the maritime destinations on offer in the country for their stay. This 8 million equates to 17% of the total number of tourists visiting Italy. The latest Bank of Italy figures shows that in 2013, tourism brought €3,586 million to the country from tourist spending. The European Union has noted that they coastal and maritime tourism in Italy is vital to boost growth. The tourism industry is a central part of the economy in a number of coastal areas and is a vital source of employment. The tourism industry is seen as particularly important in Southern Italy.
ENIT has said that they will continue to promote Italy as part of a reconfiguration of the framework used by the tourism board. This update will allow ENIT to further highlight the sea industry in Italy and use more digital marketing techniques in order to further boost the number of people visiting the seaside resort in Italy.
ENIT has recorded that there has been significant interest in Italy as a holiday destinations from Central and Eastern Europe, this includes the Czech Republic, Hungary and Romania as well as a healthy level of interest from more mature tourism markets such as the UK. Research has also found that Italy is becoming more popular with Russian tourists, with a 62.9% increase in holiday traffic in comparison to last year.