Outdoor tourism emerges as a market and traveler response to years of pandemic-induced restrictions. In 2023, tourists seek the indulgence of breathing pristine air amidst the Dolomites or falling asleep beneath the twinkling Abruzzo sky.
The concept of outdoor tourism encompasses diverse sectors, including sports, relaxation, wellness, gastronomy, and more. Accommodation providers are increasingly venturing beyond traditional structures, fostering a virtuous collaboration among companies that prioritize shared values such as sustainability.
This article explores the distinct features and ongoing developments of this trend, shedding light on its key players, their underlying values, and the potential transformative impact on the market.
Outdoor Tourism – Embracing Nature’s Rising Trend
When examining the period from June to September in Italy, data reveals a positive growth. Visitor numbers to our country have been on the rise, not just in recent years, but also when compared to the past decade.
Specifically, outdoor tourism is projected to experience a 2% increase compared to 2022 during the summer season, as reported by La Repubblica. Last year saw 55.5 million visitors, and this year, it is anticipated to reach 56.6 million. Analyzing the past ten years, only in 2017 did our country record higher figures, with 57.9 million visitors.
In addition to these preliminary findings, the Outdoor Tourism Observatory also provides insights into the most receptive regions in this domain:
- 59% of the Italian market will select destinations in Tuscany, Veneto, Emilia Romagna, Marche, and Puglia.
- 69% of the international market will choose destinations in Veneto, Tuscany, Lombardy, South Tyrol, and Piedmont.
Outdoor Tourism Trends
As mentioned earlier in this article, the term “outdoor tourism” encompasses various sectors within the industry. This influx of new travelers visiting our country can be seized upon by companies operating in diverse fields.
In recent years, we have witnessed a surge in nature-immersed accommodations, with glamping leading the way. Wineries have successfully tapped into the longing for authenticity by opening their cellar doors to visitors. Vineyard dinners and picnics have enchanted wine lovers and enticed the curious to partake in a unique experience. The world of sports has not remained on the sidelines, as it has witnessed an unprecedented demand for outdoor activities. The range of sports available is vast, offering opportunities across our territories, including rock climbing, stand-up paddleboarding on the lake, cycling through the hills, and surfing the waves.
The underlying theme of this trend? Embracing the wonders of nature.
New Outdoor Travelers
The growth of outdoor tourism presents new opportunities to cater to diverse traveler segments. These emerging trends give rise to communities of individuals who share common passions and values.
So, who exactly are these new travelers? Let’s explore some distinct categories:
- Smart/Remote Workers: With the flexibility to work from anywhere, professionals seek moments of awe-inspiring beauty after spending hours in front of screens.
- Digital Detox Seekers: A notable portion of travelers, as revealed by a booking.com study, willingly disconnect from the online world to create unforgettable memories.
- Sports Enthusiasts: Eager to push their limits, they embrace the quieter seasons to indulge in exhilarating experiences within their favorite sports or discover new ones.
- Anti-Social Adventurers: While Instagram and TikTok showcase popular destinations, these customers defy the mainstream and actively seek hidden gems, venturing onto less-explored paths.
This creative exercise helps us gain a better understanding of our service users and product consumers.
New Perspectives – Addressing Geographical and Seasonal Overtourism
While the rise in inbound tourism brings joy to our country’s promoters, the issue of overtourism in cities requires attention. Mass tourism has been linked to environmental degradation, significant pollution, and the exploitation of natural resources.
However, outdoor tourism presents an opportunity to alleviate the concentration of tourists in specific areas and during certain times of the year.
By embracing this trend, we can promote sustainable tourism and introduce curious travelers to lesser-known rural regions during off-peak periods. These explorers will be captivated by local activities, uncharted destinations, and places that honor the tranquility of nature.
This article aimed to infuse positivity into a tourism market that has suffered significant setbacks in recent years. The year 2022 showcased promising signs, and 2023 seems even more promising. Within the vast realm of travel, we have identified a rapidly growing trend supported by the data from our sources.
Outdoor tourism has become a highly sought-after lifestyle, particularly among the younger generation who, despite their constant connection to technology, seek new ways to escape. There are various tourism practices that can leverage this trend and enhance the value provided to customers.
Read XeniaPro’s blog to explore a range of topics that delve deeper into this trend. Gain comprehensive knowledge about this promising trend.