First Report on Italian Food and Wine Tourism

The First Report on Food and Wine Tourism has been presented to the press on January 23rd, 2018, at the headquarters of the Italian Touring Club in Milan and it’s under the patronage of the World Food Travel Association, sponsored by Touring Club, Qualivita Foundation , Federculture and with the collaboration of Seminario Veronelli and The Fork- TripAdvisor.

Roberta Garibaldi coordinated the Report and promoted the research, which draws a picture on the sector and outlines the trends of a rapidly growing segment worldwide.

The introduction of that day by Franco Iseppi, Touring Club Italiano President, and by Rossana Bonadei, President of the course of study Planning and Management of Tourism Systems of the University of Bergamo and thanks to the moderation of Alberto Lupini, Director of Italia a Tavola.

Roberta Garibaldi has therefore illustrated some data. One Italian out of three has done at least one trip motivated by food and wine in the last three years. Already were 21%, as noted by the Food Travel Monitor 2016. But now the food and wine tourists increase to 30%. A fact that declares the new role of enogastronomy, which from an ‘accessory’ element has become a component able to influence travel choices.

Enogastronomy is a relevant component in Italian travel choices
63% of Italian tourists takes into consideration the presence of an enogastronomic offer or of thematic experiences when choosing the destination. Essential elements are quality and sustainability, the green theme is not a driver of choice only for agri-food production, but also for 42% of tourists in choosing accommodation facilities and events.

On holiday, they manifest the desire to know and experience food and wine in all its aspects: during the holiday they participate in a wide variety of experiences, even very different from each other. The most popular food experiences, after eating typical local dishes in a local restaurant (indicated by 73% of tourists), are visiting a market with local products (70%) and buying food from a food truck (59%). There is also a strong interest in beverage, not just wine, but also local beer.

The region most desired by Italian tourists is Tuscany, but there is a strong interest for the South, above all Sicily and Puglia. Many regions have an unexpressed potential and are not perceived as important food and wine destinations, despite being rich in excellence. Lombardy, Piedmont and Veneto, for example, boast an offer that – from a numerical point of view- is immediately placed behind Tuscany. There are therefore opportunities for improvement in the visibility of these places.

ROBERTA GARIBALDI summarizes the profile of the Italian food and wine tourist: “he is a cultured tourist, with greater capacity and inclination towards spending, who is looking for an opportunity for knowledge and contact with the food and wine culture of a territory. Planning the trip on the web, that is used both to collect information and to book the individual components of the trip. But it has a greater propensity than the general tourist to booking through intermediaries. He feels more involved, wants to experience completerly the food and drink offer, often alongside other active proposals. He prefers mixed, not monothematic routes: the wine tourist also seeks excellent gastronomic experiences“.

The scientific committee is composed by:
Greg Richards, NHTV University of Breda and University of Tilburg (Netherlands)
Carlos Fernandes, Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo (Portugal)
Marcantonio Ruisi, University of Palermo
Silvia Biffignandi, University of Bergamo

The report includes the following interventions:
Anne-Mette Hjalager, University of Southern Denmark (Denmark), editor in chief Journal of Gastronomy and Tourism
Trevor Benson, Culinary Tourism Alliance (Canada)
Carlos Fernandes, Polytechnic Institute of Viana do Castelo (Portugal)
Mattew J. Stone, University of California, Chico (USA)
Erik Wolf, World Food Travel Association
Rossano Pazzagli, University of Molise