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).
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.
* * *
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 particularly evident: in 2020 the drastic contraction of Italian travel credit flows has impacted the national GDP, only partially offset by the debits reduction; the resilience of companies in the sector and its related industries has been put challenged as never before in the recent past.
In the context of a systemic shock, the availability and conscious use of the most accurate statistical sources, coming from reliable sources, is even more important. On 18th June 2021 the microdata relating to the year 2020 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.