Visitor characteristics

  • Almost half of Italian visitors are aged under 35
  • Nearly 60% of holiday visitors are making a repeat trip to Britain (excluding British nationals)
  • Most visitors to Britain live in or around Milan or Rome
  • 93% of visitors are either ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ likely to recommend Britain for a holiday or short break

Popular activities

Visited a Pub

Visited Parks/ Gardens

Went Shopping

Global context

International tourism expenditure (US$bn)25.0
Global rank for international tourism expenditure8
Number of outbound visits (m)31.4
Most visited destinationFrance

Key demographic and economic data

Population (m)60.7
GDP per capita PPP (US$)33,463
Annual average GDP growth over past decade (%)-0.6
Annual average GDP growth in the past year (%)1.0

Inbound visits to Britain

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Seasonality (Share of visits)

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Regional spread (Share of visits)

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What Italians think about Britain

  • Italians have a broadly upbeat opinion of Britain especially in relation to contemporary culture’ and ‘vibrant city life’, but areas of comparative weakness include perceptions of ‘welcome’ and of Britain’s ‘scenic natural beauty’
  • 39% reckon that a trip to Britain would be ‘fascinating’ but only 10% believe it would be ‘romantic’
  • Australia and the USA are destinations that are considered to be the ‘best place’ for a number of the attributes Italians ‘most want’ from a holiday destination
  • Britain competes with France to be the destination Italians are most likely to say is the ‘best place’ for ‘historic sites’ and ‘world famous places’
  • Potential visitors are keen on the idea of experiencing Britain’s built heritage
  • Only 9% reckon Britain is the ‘best place’ for enjoying local food and drink

Caring for visitors

  • It is fundamental to provide any brochures and materials in Italian
  • Value for money is fundamental in choosing a destination and accommodation
  • Independent travellers tend to choose major and well-known chains, although bed & breakfasts are also popular
  • Italians prefer good-sized hotel rooms and are scrupulous with regards to cleanliness
  • Conservative eaters, when travelling abroad, Italians choose to eat simple British fare or Italian food - vegetarian dishes recommended

The leisure & travel trade

  • 28% of Italian visitors have booked a holiday (travel and accommodation combined) in a travel agency
  • Tour operators are developing new products and new ways of selling these products
  • Relationships in Italy are extremely important. Try to visit your contacts at least twice a year and keep in regular contact with them even when you are back in Britain

Access to Britain from Italy

Weekly aircraft departures976
Weekly seat capacity159,289
Airports with direct routes in Italy28
Airports with direct routes in Britain22
  • Airlines seat capacity from Italy to Britain has grown in recent years. It is highly seasonal, reflecting demand for outbound travel from Britain to Italy
  • Most airline seats from Italy to Britain are destined for airports around London, with Manchester the most important regional airport
  • Visitors from Italy departing Britain by air pay £13 in Air Passenger Duty