According to official data, 2019 was a successful year for Italian tourism, which, among other important goals, has witnessed the overtake of foreign arrivals on domestic ones in absolute terms. Visits paid by foreigners have indeed been growing until reaching around 65 million, representing more than 50% of the total arrivals. This is an historical milestone since never before international flows have been more relevant than domestic. A trend which, among top EU markets, is peculiar of Spain and Italy only.
Such great news come together with the boom of real estate investments, and in particular the great amount of movements concerning the hospitality market, among which the continued growth of hotel chains in the country.
Chains represent a good share of the hosting proposition in the country, especially in the most prestigious destinations like art cities, seaside and business destinations, with an overall 5.2% penetration rate in terms of hotels and 17% in terms of rooms. Thanks to the 2020 edition of the annual Hotels & Chains in Italy Report, published by Horwath HTL, we are able to analyze some of the most important indicators of the Italian hospitality market.
As it has happened for several years now, the number of hotels managed by chains increased in 2019, recording around 100 operating structures more with respect to 2018, for a 7% growth. This positive trend is confirmed in terms of keys, increasing by 5,2%. Taking a look back in times, we find out that in the last 7 years (2013-2019) hotels managed by chains grew by 30%.
It is also interesting to take a look at the distribution of branded hotels in terms of destination. Keeping the number of keys under the lens, the dominant segments come to be, foreseeably enough, Sun & Beach (55,000+ rooms) and Art & Business (48,000+), followed at distance by Only Business (35,000+).
More confirmations come in terms of segments: the Upper Upscale & Luxury segment is always the preferred one for big investments, in particular by foreign groups. Among the many notable new entries in the high positioning market there are some interesting new constructions like the Aldiana Club Calabria in Villapiana Scalo, with its 324 keys, and the Adler Lodge Ritten, 40 keys in Renon. Many were also the re-brandings and relaunches, as those of the Grand Hotel Dei Dogi in Venice (The Dedica Anthology) and the De La Ville Roma (Rocco Forte).
Looking into the future, what are the plans of the hotel chains on Italian land in the coming years? As of today, there are around a hundred new hotels planned to open in the next four years, more than a half of which will be operated by international groups.