Italy Market Overview

Italy Inbound Tourism Snapshot - Growth Market

For Travel South USA, there is no such thing as an accidental tourist from Italy. It takes deliberate planning to visit the southern region, compelled by curiosity and the promise of what's unique and different in the American culture, history, lifestyle, nature, and innovative culinary scene. The Italian market has long-term potential and high spend per visitor and the U.S. remains the #1 long-haul travel destination for Italians.

Honeymooning, motorcycling, and cultural experiences that are interesting to the mature and refined Italian traveler are the primary motivators for potential Italian visitors. Music also holds very strong allure for Italian travelers; whether individual travel or small groups, they plan and research a "trip of a lifetime" looking to explore distinct areas and routes and attend music events, usually for a 2 to 3 week extended visit.

The Italian travel industry landscape is mainly dominated by small-to-medium companies. A significant number of them are family-owned and run. Very often they focus on consumers in a specific geographic region and, in some cases, are market leaders on a global scale.There are approximately 80 tour operator companies who feature U.S. product and 6,000 travel agencies/retailers based in Italy.

A significant portion of tour operators that focus on outbound travel business to the U.S. position themselves as the destination expert and have invested heavily in digital marketing and new technologies. They want to differentiate their product by offering authentic and experiential tourism product not available to the masses. Many have eliminated print catalogues and replaced traditional marketing means with leaflets and websites that are robust and optimized for mobile devices. This new generation of small and medium-sized tour operators are interested in finding new travel experiences and destinations and become a reference point in the market for both B2B and B2C travel.

The southern U.S. remains very popular for Italian tour operators looking to create product and market aggressively to their customer base of well-heeled travelers.


Travel Profile -  Italy

 Travel South USA Region
 (12 state region)
2015 2014
Yr/Yr % Change
 Number of Visitors 74,000 73,000 +1.4%
 Visitor Spending $73,112,000 $70,364,000 +3.9%
 Travel South Share of Market 7.1% 7.5% -5.3%
 Nights in Travel South USA Region 13 15.3 -15%
 States Visited 3 2.2 +36.3%
 Sources:  US Department of Commerce, Travel Market Insights


  • Approximately 66% of Italian households have Internet access and this percentage continues to rise
  • Online travel booking generated over $4 million USD in revenue to the U.S. in 2015
  • Revenue is expected to show a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2016 - 2020 of 7.84%
  • Italian consumers find our southern hospitality and regional traditions very appealing. They look for experiences that offer a glimpse at our historic past, culinary offerings, craft beers, architectural beauty, white sandy beaches, outdoor activities, American music and connections with pop culture and iconic personalities (artists, musicians, writers)
  • The challenge for our region is that our destination is not as well-known by both trade and consumers as New York, Florida, and California. We have a reputation for overly hot summers and the south has little in the way of in-language promotional materials, earned media, and/or consumer advertising for the Italian market


Thema Srl - Thema New Worlds Ltd. is a company founded in Milan, Italy in 1987 and operates throughout the Italian territory in the tourism sector offering services in marketing, sales, media relations, and PR. Thema Srl works with agencies associated with the development of strategic marketing, public relations, and communications programs. Holders of Thema Srl: Dr. Maria Olga Mazzoni and Mario Boveri.

Travel South USA c/o Thema Nuovi Mondi Srl
     via C. Pisacane 26 - 20129 Milano, Italy
     Tel: (+39) 0233108541 - Fax: (+39) 0233105827
     Email: - Web:

     Dr. Olga Mazzoni, Managing Director
     Mr. Mario Boveri, Operations Manager
     Ms. Barbara Barili, Trade & Media Coordinator


Travel South USA has a year-round investment in research and travel trade strategies along with earned, owned, and paid media to amplify our efforts in-market.

Commissioned research, along with monthly trend reports and a comprehensive tour operator analysis, is provided to state tourism offices participating in the Global Partner Program.

Travel trade strategies and tactics include sales missions, trade shows, workshops/regional road shows, cooperative event marketing with Brand USA, and recruitment of top-notch tour operators to the Travel South USA International Showcase & Super FAM Tours.

Earned, owned, and paid media strategies and tactics include hosting visiting journalists, FAM Tours, social media campaigns, and cooperative advertising efforts B2C.


 Monthly Reporting
 Tour Operator Brochure Analysis
 Tourism Economics & Travel Market Insights Commissioned Studies

small_TravelTrade.pngTravel Trade

 Trade Webinars Italy Year-Round
 International Showcase & Super FAMs Atlanta, GA & Region November 28-December 3, 2016
 TTG Incontri (brochure only) Rimini, Italy October 15, 2016
 BIT Milan Milan, Italy March 2017
 International Showcase & Super FAMs Charleston, SC & Region November 27 - December 2, 2017
 Visit USA Italy Membership

small_TravelTrade.pngEarned, Owned, & Paid Media

 Visiting Journalist Program Case by Case Year-Round
 Travel South USA Inspiration Guide - Italian Version
 Produced by Brand USA / Miles Media
 Latitudes - Digital Magazine - Postcard Campaign    
 Social Media Campaign on
 Post every other day w/ paid campaigns & contests
 Dedicated Content on   6 Month Campaign
 E-Newsletter to Trade & Media   Quarterly