A new study by SiteMinder, the global hotel industry’s leading guest acquisition platform, reveals an increased preference for spontaneity among Italy’s local travellers, a segment currently crucial to the country’s accommodation industry as international travel continues to rebuild.
SiteMinder’s Changing Traveller Report, which combines the survey responses of nearly 600 Italian residents, shows a staggering 68 percent will book their accommodation less than a month before their holiday commences.
Among the surveyed population, more than two-thirds (67 percent) plan to travel within the country sometime this year, including 41 percent who intend to travel by October. Only nine percent do not plan to take a domestic trip sometime in the next 18 months.
In almost half (48 percent) of all cases, domestic trips will now be shorter for Italians when compared to pre-COVID-19 times. Their preference for flexible bookings and well-promoted safety practices has also increased, with both today ranking as the two greatest deciding factors for Italians when making a reservation, narrowly edging out low cost.
Speaking on the data, SiteMinder’s vice president – EMEA, Daniele Di Bella, says that while international travel is returning to Italy, local accommodation providers must balance their marketing and distribution strategies this year to appeal to local holidaymakers also.
“Italy, more so than many European countries, has always relied heavily on tourists arriving from long-haul flights. Our data shows that international arrivals are indeed returning, comprising 44 percent of expected hotel guest arrivals this month and 65 percent in September. However, this year more than ever, hoteliers mustn’t overlook the importance of domestic bookings. Consumers are booking late and local, and that trend is set to increase through August especially, as confidence continues to build and Italians take their summer holidays,” says Daniele.
The findings from SiteMinder’s Changing Traveller Report are mirrored within the SiteMinder World Hotel Index, the leading indicator of hotel reservation and guest arrival trends globally. The World Hotel Index confirms that 90 percent of bookings at Italian hotels in the last two weeks were either for August or September. More than half (56 percent) of hotel guest arrivals this month will comprise locals, compared to 33 percent in August last year.