Fluctuating data on cultural tourism in this summer of 2023. Let us see what trends have been identified so far, knowing that definitive data will only arrive at the end of the summer.
Iniziamo con lo studio dei Cultural Consumption of Italians, carried out in the second half of 2023 by Impresa Cultura Italia - Confcommercio. The aim of its Permanent Observatory is to carry out a constant monitoring activity to learn about consumer habits, fashions and trends. In addition, the studies make it possible to grasp novelties and changes in the tastes and needs of the target public, favouring access to cultural goods and services through an adequate offer.
The first data that emerges? An increase in average spending by cultural enthusiasts, accompanied by a marked reduction in the percentage of people who say they spend money on cultural activities. In short, more is being spent, but fewer people are doing it. How can this be explained? According to Riccardo Grassi of SWG, who collaborated on the Observatory's study, the overall audience has declined, but this does not necessarily mean a decline in interest. On the one hand, it is noted how Italians would like to 'consume' more culture, but are faced with the problem of costs (especially for families with two or more children). On the other hand, it is noted how the offer does not live up to expectations, especially on the islands and in Southern Italy. On a national level, the cultural offer of the territories is considered adequate by only 25% of those interviewed, with the greatest criticism coming from the 35-54 age group.
More than one in two Italians in general would be interested in the possibility of a cultural weekend, with packages offering a complete experience and spending around 200 euro per person. When choosing holiday destinations, 25 per cent of those interviewed said that the presence of museums and archaeological sites and 14 per cent for exhibitions, events, concerts and cultural festivals were influential.
A promising growth, but one that hides considerable risks, especially for Carlo Fontana, president of Impresa Cultura Italia. In fact, Mr. Fontana argues that this figure is not a permanent driver to feed the spending cycle of tourism itself. The problem with this offer of events, when it is designed to maximise consumption and not enhance consumers, is that it risks preventing the construction of new audiences, starting with the youngest. In short, a mechanism that risks coming to a standstill right at the end of the summer season, given the very frequent occasionality of the cultural offer, linked to a period as specific as the summer. It is therefore necessary to “rethink the offer itself beyond the time of a season, so that it does not merely intercept tourist flows, but succeeds in satisfying a more conscious and stable demand for cultural experiences, bringing quality, reputation and value back to the territory”.