Summer trends: Puglia leads for food and wine tourism

Summer trends: Puglia leads for food and wine tourism

Agritourism, tasting museums and UNESCO sites are becoming increasingly important, especially in Southern Italy, and Puglia emerges as one of the favorite destinations for summer tourism in 2023 thanks to its food and wine offer.

The summer holidays are on their way and summer on the peninsula is expected to be lively. 2023 is the year in which travel will become consistent again and, according to a study by the platform, a trend towards saving money will be felt, but not to the detriment of little food and wine luxuries, local or unusual experiences.


Indeed, as the BIT Observatory reveals, by processing estimates from various players in the supply chain, at least 1,844,000 tourists are expected in Italy, 84% of whom are international origin and 16% of whom are Italian. For June, which has not yet ended, up to 944,000 arrivals are estimated (up 8.6 percent from last year). This is a very encouraging figure that highlights the steady growth of the sector, which is on track to surpass 2019 numbers.


But what should we expect from this new wave of tourism? What are the emerging trends?


Food and wine tourism is certainly one of the main drivers of the travel industry, drawing travelers from all over the world to Italian destinations. It is no coincidence that this was one of the main topics discussed during BIT2023, which revealed the ability of this type of tourism to generate economic value for the area, but also to put together - as far as the Italian context is concerned - a varied offer, which combines experience, seasonal adjustment, sustainability and innovation.


As highlighted by Roberta Garibaldi, professor of Tourism Management at the University of Bergamo and editor of the Food and Wine Tourism Report, 90 percent of Italians choose a tourist destination based on food and wine experiences. According to Garibaldi, there is still a lot of unexpressed demand at a national and international level with a resulting need to create connections between the products and experiences offered by the area.


Among the Italian regions most geared in the latter direction is Puglia, which according to the most recent survey of the Food and Wine Tourism Report (January 2023), rises in the ranking of the most chosen destinations for food & wine holidays, which therefore also proves itself as a driving force for regional growth. Out of a sample of 1500 interviewees, 23% of Italian tourists and 22% of food and wine tourists would like to visit Puglia, which is thirdin terms of preferences in the national ranking, after Sicily and Sardinia.


According to the same report, 31% of Italians consider Puglia among the best food and wine destinations in Italy - it is fourth in the rankings - and 1 food and wine tourist out of 5 declares that they vacationed there most recently to experience food and wine-themed experiences.


The rise of Puglia goes hand in hand with the growth of interest in organic products, for the comeback of the "local", or rather of regional experiences, products and traditions. In this context, agritourism, tasting museums and Unesco heritage sites are becoming more and more popular, especially in Southern Italy.