Economic crisis curbs travel by Italians

( dpa )- Foreign tourists may be flocking to Italy in ever- increasing numbers, but an economic crisis at home means Italians are travelling less.

Statistics reveal a sharp drop in overall spending by Italians on travel, according to a survey conducted by Comfturismo Confcommercio , the Italian tourism organisation.

Whereas the number of hotel rooms rented by foreigners in Italy last year rose to 109.5 million, an increase of 1.5 per cent from 2006, the number of hotel rooms rented by Italians declined from 140.4 million to 138.9 million.

The results of the survey provoked discussion among visitors to the ITB trade and travel fair in Berlin, which ended on Sunday.

"I'm surprised figures show a decline in Italians moving about their own country. The Italian zest for travel, what's happened to it?" mused Ingrid Bachauer , 58, a German visitor.

A record 11,147 exhibitors from 186 countries and regions participated in the five-day exhibition.

The daily ITB press bulletin cited Bernabo Bocca , chairman of Comfturismo Confcommercio , as saying: "The market is clearly in a slump, with the situation worsened by a loss of almost one billion euros on the balance of tourism account recorded from Italian tourism abroad and foreigners in Italy."

"The continued growth of foreign tourism shows that our tourism sector is competitive, but the decline in the Italian component underscores the liquidity problems the country is experiencing."

The news of Italy's decline in travel at home stands in stark contrast to its boom in foreign travel arrivals, with more than 9 million visitors from Germany alone heading south across the Alps to spend their vacations in the country in 2007.

"Italy At The Top" was the proud slogan adopted by the Italian tourism board in Berlin this year, with representatives from the country's various regions all clamouring for attention in Hall Number One at the ITB.

Francesco Frangialli , the secretary-general of the World Tourism Organisation, claimed in Berlin that there was a 6 per cent growth in global tourism in 2007, with 52 million additional international arrivals recorded, bringing the total to 898 million.

With rocketing growth in travel predicted, the mood in Berlin has been upbeat this year.

Even so, much discussion has centred on the role of the environment and the impact travel plays on climate change, with numerous forums addressing sustainability issues and the less attractive effects of mass tourism.

Fascinating has been the degree of interest show in rural and community tourism. "We see it as a new form of tourism in India," Shilabhadra Banerjee , a top official at India's Ministry of Tourism, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa . "We are very positive about it."

Some 124 locations in India have been listed for rural tourism projects, with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) involved in a pilot project embracing 36 villages in India.

"Some of us Indians have forgotten our roots in the villages," said Banerjee , noting that 70 per cent of Indians still live in rural areas.

"It's in many of these rural villages that you still have the traditional customs, crafts, textiles, food - you name it, it's all there," he said.

Similar projects are under way in several African countries. Bongani E.Diamini , marketing manager of the Swaziland Tourism Authority, said the European Union had first sponsored a community tourism project in the country in 2002.

"Since then, we've developed eight projects in different communities." he explained. "People from the Netherlands, England, France and the US show interest in such projects. Now, we are looking to the German market," he said.

Some of the tourists to Swaziland were young people - backpackers and adventure tourists wishing to explore the region, said Diamini . "Others come because they are curious to learn the way of life and traditions of people in the communities," he claimed.

In Ghana, similar projects have also being developed. Visitors arrive to stay at humble guesthouses with thatched roofs in Mesomago , a village of 400 residents 50 kilometres from the capital, Accra.

There, they are greeted by a local musician by the name of Bismark and his ten-member-strong Bamboo Band. Some 14 villages in Ghana are geared for rural tourism, and a further 16 are in the planning.

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Iranian currency rates for November 30
Iranian currency rates for November 30
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for November 29
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for November 29
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for November 28
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for November 28
Loading Bars
Chinese FM makes statement on meeting of leaders of Azerbaijan, Russia, Armenia in Sochi
Europe to see increase in jet fuel demand – JP Morgan
Azerbaijan's air defense units carry out combat firing exercises (VIDEO)
Top Russian, Mongolian defense officials discuss cooperation
Azerbaijani currency rates for November 30
"International Youth Festival of Modern Muslim Culture" ended in Kazan (PHOTO)
French inflation hits 13-year high in November
World oil demand to rise in 2022
German companies express interest in investing in Azerbaijan's Alat Free Economic Zone
Kazakhstan’s oil construction company opens tender for electrical equipment
Azerbaijan sees increase volume of loans issued for construction sector
Military helicopter crashes in Azerbaijan
Kazakh energy minister talk sale of hydroelectric power plants to UAE
Iran wants lifting of all sanctions - AEOI
State Agency on Vocational Education and Azerconnect sign Memorandum of Understanding
Volume of Azerbaijani gas exports to Turkey disclosed
Japan confirms first case of Omicron variant of coronavirus
International Court of Justice to deliver its order on Azerbaijan's case against Armenia
Kazakhstan’s manufacturing industry maintains stable growth – ministry
Georgian stock market eyes additional investments
Kazakhstan’s KazMunayGas, Russia’s Tatneft establish JV for butadiene rubbers production
Azerbaijan, Iran implementing important projects - ambassador
Uzbekneftegaz obtains new industrial gas flow from Shimoliy Dengizkul field
Iran records increase in exports from Chaharmahal & Bakhtiari Province
Azerbaijan discloses volume of contaminated potatoes returned to Georgia
Vietnam to localize production of Russian Sputnik V vaccine
Kazakhstan's PM talks industrial development
Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Iran gas swap deal: chance to strengthen energy co-op
Uzbek BMB Group to organize export of saffron to Spain
India steps ups COVID-19 testing for international flyers
IIT-Guwahati develops coating for cloth masks for better COVID protection
India-Singapore flights commence under vaccinated travel lane
Number of flights via Iran’s Tabriz International Airport up
Georgia releases COVID-19 data for November 30
Vice admiral R Hari Kumar to take over as new chief of Naval staff today
JP Morgan expects Azerbaijan’s oil output to fall in 2023
CEO of European Azerbaijan School explains goals of hosting first IB conference (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Azerbaijan shows footage from Kalbajar's liberated Gilinjli village (VIDEO)
Azerbaijani oil prices increase
Azerbaijan sees growth in real estate registration rate for 10M2021 (Exclusive)
Iranian currency rates for November 30
Azerbaijan approves procedure for providing COVID-19 certificate
Uzbekistan shares updated COVID-19 data
Georgia shares data on TOP-5 potato export destinations for 10M2021
Kazakhstan’s Kazinform joins Turkic World media platform (PHOTO)
JP Morgan reveals forecasts for Azerbaijan’s 2021 oil output
Oil gains on bets OPEC+ will pause output hike
Azerbaijan approves amendments to law on vocational education
Azerbaijan may give incentives to support taxpayers offering local transport and forwarding services
Pakistan, Iran discuss establishment of barter system
Baku-Supsa loaded 1000th tanker at Supsa terminal on the Black Sea
Australian scientists establish platform to combine human, machine intelligence
Iran oil ministry requires more share from revenues - Energy Commission
Oil prices rise on bets OPEC+ will hold off output hike
654 more COVID-19 cases reported in Kazakhstan
Israel discovers 1,900-year-old industry building, large cemetery
Global coalition seizes 145.3 tonnes of cocaine - Colombia's navy
Snowfalls, heavy rains and strong winds hit Italy and Spain
Eight Iraqi officers probing attack on PM arrested on charges of negligence
Biden urges calm over Omicron COVID-19 variant
Germany's SPD will announce its ministers next week
Messi wins The 2021 Ballon d'Or
Georgia’s electricity exports double
Wild winds in Turkey claim lives, close Bosphorus strait
Azerbaijan represented at III Pacific Alliance International Cooperation Forum
Iran top nuclear negotiator, Mora meet ahead of Vienna talks
Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan discuss creation of trade-logistics complexes in border areas
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to step down
Georgian delegation leaves for Brussels
Azerbaijani, Saudi Arabian foreign ministries hold consultations
Famous artist receives Azerbaijani citizenship
Azerbaijan holds expanded meeting of Operational Headquarters for Combating COVID-19 (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan approves COVID-19 certificates
Azerbaijan discloses state budget revenues through State Customs Committee
Volume of loans issued in Azerbaijan’s real estate sector increases
Price indexes of industrial, construction sectors at Uzbek stock exchange fall
Kazakhstan to build hybrid solar power station
Azerbaijan's foreign trade turnover increases in 10M2021
Some CSTO members’ congratulations to Azerbaijan show Armenia's insignificance in CSTO - analyst
Interest rates on consumer loans in Georgia increase
Uzbekistan starts construction of new branch of Gazli-Kagan gas pipeline
Kazakhstan eyes increasing container shipments
SOCAR projects increase in local manufacturing of fuel products from 2023
IRENEX shares data on sales of Bandar Imam Petrochemical Company
Turkmen Ministry of Textile extends tender for modernization of cotton-spinning factory
Snam to increase spending on energy transition activities
Iran eyes decrease in passenger transportation via Bandar Abbas International Airport
Turkmenistan becomes Uzbekistan’s second largest gasoline supplier
Azerbaijan adopts new state standard on farming activities
Azerbaijan Deposit Insurance Fund reveals number of loans of liquidated banks
Uzbek Statistics Committee shares data on import of cement
Azerbaijan rapidly continues construction of Barda-Aghdam highway (PHOTO)
Iran discloses details of its daily gasoline production
Snam reveals investment plans by 2024
Snam expects to achieve sustainable growth of main indicators in 2021-2025
Snam raises methane emissions reduction target
Azerbaijan’s economy minister talks projects submitted for country's industrial parks
New deputy ministers of Youth and Sports of Azerbaijan appointed
Georgia’s Partnership Fund to be renovated – minister
Iran resuming exports to Tajikistan through Turkmenistan's routes
All news