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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Italy targets wealthy clientele from emerging markets with new luxury hotels


More and more Italy is trying to attract wealthy visitors from abroad evermore, as the demand for national travel by Italians has decreases significantly over the past years due the country's economic recession. Now with new top hotels entering the market a new clientele from the emerging markets and BRICS countries, such as the former CIS states, shall spend their holidays and leisure time in Italy. In total 44 new first class and luxury hotels with more than 7,500 rooms are currently under construction in Italy. This data has been revealed by a hotel market report from TOPHOTELPROJECTS (www.tophotelprojects.com), the worldwide leading provider of global B2B hotel data.


Villa Tolomei in Florence

An ambitious project in Florence belongs to the hotel brand Landmark Hotels. In may the historic Villa Tolomei will be re-opened as a five star resort, thereby preventing it from decay. With only 27 double rooms and three suites an extraordinary boutique hotel will then open its doors - in an extraordinary, unique classicistic atmosphere and just a five minute walk away from the city center of Florence. Further historic sites and monuments shall also be converted into new hotels, among them a former prison on an island near Naples or Venice.

One of the most outstanding tourism projects is the "Tuscany Resort" operated by Europe's leading tourism conglomerate TUI in the "forgotten" village of Castelalfi. During autumn last year the first luxury hotel was inaugurated. The boutique hotel "La Travaccaia" offers 32 guest rooms and it is just one of three properties in the project pipeline. Castelfalfi is an eleven square meter sized country estate and a 800 years old village in the Tuscany's heart located between Florence, Pisa and Siena. After the large urbanization in the 1960s only five persons stayed in the village.


Tuscany Resort by TUI: room in the boutique hotel La Trabaccaia in Castelalfi

Over the years the village's 26 farm houses had fallen into ruins. In May 2014 the Iberotel Tenuta di Castelalfi (120 rooms) will be inaugurated by TUI. Another hotel with 180 rooms will open in 2015.

A five-star hotel operated by the premium hotel chain Mandarin Oriental arises in a top location in Milan's city center. February next year this high end luxury hotel with 104 rooms will welcome its first guests.

Tourism professionals award large potential to Italy's tourism industry. Italians prefer to travel within their own country. Three out of four vacations trips are spent domestically. The enormous offer of low budget flights opens new opportunities for the Italian tourism industry, especially due the enhanced connectivity with Southern Italy. During the last four years the number of short-stay travelers (stay of up to three days) as well as the number of longer holiday trips made by Italians stagnated at a low level. The number of short trips decreased from 2008 to 2011 by 41 percent. During the holiday Italians spend 651 Euros on average in Italy, respectively 705 Euros abroad. The summer holiday is traditionally very long in Italy, partly because of the unbearably heat in the cities during July and August.

The tourism sector is an important pillar of the Italian economy. During 2011 136 billion Euro were generated by tourism, which is 8,6 percent of the gross domestic product. Now the tourism plan "Turismo Italia 2020" should cater for more upscale tourism.

The process to obtain tourist visas for travelers from certain countries such as India, Russia and other CIS countries should also be accelerated. In 2015 the World EXPO will be held in Milan. More than one million Chinese visitors are expected.

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