Invest in tourism that works.
«Congratulations Puglia for providing such fine hospitality, excellent international air connections and great value for money. All you have to do now is to keep growing without letting things go to your head. One thing you can improve on though, is the quality of your nightlife » Flavio Briatore, the well-known businessman, has no doubts when it comes to placing his bet on Puglia as a potential tourist hot spot in Italy, and he is clear about his commitment to invest in Puglia, and in particular, in Salento.
Puglia tour operators are doing very well. They have succeeded in taking advantage of a series of strong points such as international air flights, the success of which can be measured by the number of tourist arrivals. There are numerous low cost airlines from England and other European countries serving airports in Puglia, for which it deserves an applause. To create development we need private investors working closely with local public administration.
Tourists look for a balanced equation between quality and cost, and in hard times Puglia is proving to be a magnet for tourists from all walks of life.
Puglia has something to offer every budget, which explains why it has managed to develop so naturally in recent years. It really is quite simple- local hospitality is unique.
Tourist arrivals in Puglia are significant, and even though prices in Italy tend to be 30 or 40% higher than in France and Spain, they are becoming more competitive.
KEYS FACTORS AND DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR NEW PRODUCT LINES
Sea arrivals account for 46.5%, while the presence of tourists at seaside resorts accounts for 66.8%.
This increase is in line with average regional data and is borne out by the high market share that Puglia tourism is currently experiencing. 85% of visitors are from the domestic market, with the majority coming from Puglia itself.
Puglia has many advantages over its competitors such as Sicily and Sardinia; namely, it is on the mainland, there is a widespread perception that it provides much more variety of choice, value for money, and not least, it enjoys a positive image in the media. This is a particularly important moment for seaside tourism in Puglia to continue to grow and to further develop demand by garnering an increasingly significant share of the market.
ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Despite occupying a tiny sector of tourism in Puglia, ecotourism and sports tourism are growing at a much faster rate than the national average. On a regional, national and international level, however, it is often difficult to separate ecotourism from other forms of tourism such as sports, rural, and the general cultural landscape.
Even ecotourism and nature- based tourism, which are becoming increasingly popular internationally, have at their core complex strata which range from luxury eco-chic to more traditional, simpler forms.
As for nature and health based tourism, Puglia is in line with the dynamics seen internationally, although its products are still in their early stages. This is due to the fact that local tourism tends to favour self-organization, and not least because there are numerous environmental issues still waiting to be resolved.
CULTURE AND ENTERTAINMENT + FOOD AND WINE
Generally speaking this sector experiences less sensitivity to economic slowdown and higher spending by consumers compared with other products.
In recent years Puglia has become an active player on the culture/entertainment front. Some destinations such as Alberobello have strengthened their position considerably on an international level, whereas others like Lecce and Salento are now beginning to emerge.
In Puglia food and wine tourism appears to be concentrated mainly in Valle d’Itria, Castel del Monte-Murgia areas and Salento, and adds extra value to the coastal tourism experience.
The wine and olive oil trail in Puglia is still in its infancy. The Observatory of Wine Tourism has awarded the sector 10 out of 25.
Even in the so-called Wine Tourism “capitals” on a national and international level, the benefits reaped within this sector tend to merge with those generated by other types of holidays.
CULTURE AND ENTERTAINMENT + SPIRITUALITY
Religious tourism accounts for 9.1% of arrivals and 3.9% of presences, the majority of which go to San Giovanni Rotondo. There is a large presence of mainly Russian Orthodox pilgrims who visit San Nicola in Bari.
There are some interesting proposals regarding the Via Francigena pilgrim route from Canterbury to Rome and Città del SS Crocifisso.
In Puglia business tourism (including business trips) accounts for 24.9% of arrivals and 14.9% of presences, making it the third largest tourist product in the region, with growth rates slightly higher than the regional average. Business tourism accounts for 19.2% of foreigners compared with 16.7% of foreigners in regular tourism.
In Puglia incentive tourism is increasing, even though limited access, outdated infrastructures and low-medium services represent a major impediment for the sector as a whole, and for business tourism in particular.