Italy Market Profile

In an Italian market in which consumers’ propensity to travel is steadily on the rise, California remains a particularly desirable destination for newlyweds. Tour operators who book tailor-made itineraries generally perform well, with honeymoon packages among the best sellers for them. In general, luxury or upscale packages combine California with other U.S. destinations.


  • Disintermediation is growing
  • Italians’ propensity to travel increased from 66 to 69 points in 2016. 
  • “Bleisure” – combining business and leisure travel – trips are common practice
  • Millennials now have more incentives to visit California with first low-cost airlines launching in 2017

Travel Profile

In-Person Trips, 2016
$332 Million
Visitor Spending, 2016

Market Conditions

GDP Annual Growth Rate

Expected GDP growth of 0.8 percent in 2016, 0.9 percent in 2017. Italy’s third quarter GDP surprised on the upside, as the economy grew faster than expected by the markets and accelerated from the previous quarter on the back of expanding domestic demand. Nevertheless, growth remained weak overall with contradictory signs: In October, consumer confidence declined while economic sentiment improved. Unemployment declined to 11.7 percent in 2016 from a 12.6 percent in 2014.

Exchange Rate

Over the last 12 months, the exchange rate was even more stable than the preceding 12 months, with a low of 1.03603 and a high of 1.15272.

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Travel & Planning Methodologies


  • 4 weekly nonstops on Alitalia into Los Angeles
  • 1,127 weekly nonstop seats
  • First low-cost airlines crossing the Atlantic will launch in 2017 (WOW, Norwegian, Iceland Air); millennials are expected to be attracted by these new opportunities


  • Planning time frame: up to 6 months
  • Booking time frame: January-May for trips between May to October with peak in August
  • More than 60 percent of travel to California is booked through traditional tour operator and travel agencies, with remaining booking through online travel agencies and directly with airlines and car rental companies
  • Over 60 tour operators package California, offering escorted and tailor-made trips, including fly and drive (car, motorbikes) and fly and train

Market Barriers & Risk Factors



  • U.S. Department of Commerce
  • Tourism Economics 
  • CIC Research, Inc.
  • International Monetary Fund
  • ASTOI (Official Association of Italian Tour Operators)
  • Carlson Wagonlit Travel research department
  • direct survey conducted among 15 top Italian tour operators.

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