International tourism

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The Bank of Italy has been conducting since 1996 a survey on international tourism, based on interviews and counting of resident and non-resident travellers at the Italian borders (road and rail crossings, international ports and airports). In order to estimate the number of the international travellers, information collected through the survey are integrated with administrative data and, since the end of 2020, with mobile phone data.

The survey is conducted with the primary objective of compiling the "Travel" item (which includes goods and services purchased by individuals in countries where they are not residents, in relation to travels in those countries) and the "International passenger transport" item of the Italian Balance of payments, in line with the methodological conventions established by the IMF - Balance of Payments and International Investments Position Manual (6th Edition).

The surveys represents also a useful database for researchers and sectoral operators, thanks to the wide range of analytical data, which are available both in the form of monthly updates and at the micro level. A yearly report on the main results of the survey is available in the section Report of this page.

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Tourism represents an important sector of the Italian economy, with a strong potential in terms of growth and employment as well as social and cultural integration. The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have made the relevance of this sector and the availability of accurate statistical sources, coming from reliable sources, particularly evident.

On 16th June 2022 the microdata relating to the year 2021 have been released; at the same time, the document "Survey on international tourism", of the "Statistics" series of Bank of Italy, containing an extensive analysis of the main results of the sample survey, has been published.

Analysis and methodology

The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the Italian tourism sector are significant, with impacts on national GDP and serious consequences on companies operating in the sector. In this context, policies to counteract the effects of the pandemic and those to support sector operators must be based on the most accurate economic and statistical evidences from reliable sources. Functional to these analyses is the correct reading of the available data.