The post-pandemic traveler wants authentic and dynamic experiences

The post-pandemic traveler wants authentic and dynamic experiences

If not exactly extreme, they are at least challenging. These are the trendiest outdoor activities of 2022-23. The Bit Observatory's monitoring on ENIT and Federturismo data for the Immaculate Conception long weekend showed strong flows and presences.

A significant recovery. This is the most obvious indication that emerges from the data prepared by ENIT for the Immaculate Conception long weekend (or, for the Milanese, the St. Ambrose long weekend). Specifically, the available rooms on OTA channels from Dec. 8 to Dec. 10 was between 44 and 50.2 percent, more than double the 14 to 20 percent in 2021. Driving the season is the mountains with above-average rates (between 60 and 69 percent of availability booked).


For the week of Dec. 5-11, airline bookings from abroad to Italy are over 74 thousand and up +57.3 percent compared to the same period in 2021. A higher growth rate than those of competitors France (XX%) and Spain (+15.5%), although Italy does not match their volumes. Especially nice is the figure for airline bookings from the U.S., for which the gap from pre-Covid values has narrowed to only -4.8 percent. As for Italians abroad, Federturismo estimates that Italian vacationers spent the long weekend mainly in Paris, Barcelona or Amsterdam.


So what are the trends that are driving this recovery? Nature and outdoor vacation, the great post-pandemic rediscovery, are confirmed as the big drivers of the coming months as well, but with some new features. If in the first months after lockdowns people sought mostly relaxation and vast space, today the traveler is becoming adventurous, and the big open-air trend of 2022-23 is sports that if not quite extreme, at least are more challenging. An example? Trail running that is taking the place of jogging among those who love to run: the practice of running in nature, away from the road and the more common athletic tracks. Whether it is the hills, mountains, forests or deserts the paved sections should not exceed 20% of the route.


Instead, airboarding, a fun new activity that is winning over winter sports enthusiasts is becoming incredibly popular during the upcoming vacation on the snow period: a little bit of bobsledding and a little bit of sledding, but reimagined with a modern twist. You stretch out on an inflatable aerodynamic board and travel down snowy slopes. For tour operators on the snow it could certainly be a great novelty to intrigue their customers.


For those who still prefer peace and quiet, the must for winter is Aerial Yoga: using a hammock designed specifically for this type of activity, the famous "asanas" can be practiced while remaining suspended in the air. For those who organize yoga and fitness classes, in favor of mental and physical well-being, it could definitely be an added value to offer, perhaps even outdoors, surrounded by the nature of a forest.


Still on the subject of slow tourism, another trend that has been confirmed since the post-pandemic period are proximity vacations. They are no longer a novelty, and so for many travelers the approach has become more timely, demanding and motivational: one moves for a specific interest that he or she perceives as truly aligning with one's lifestyle - from a classical concert to a rock concert, art exhibition, or literature festival - to be combined with a more comprehensive exploration of the area, from food and wine to local traditions to a nice shopping experience.


A common element is increasingly sustainability and responsibility. A theme that will also be front and center at Bit 2023, at the Allianz MiCo convention center in Milan from Sunday, Feb. 12 to Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023. To be featured as an exhibitor send a request for information. To purchase your ticket as a professional visitor or as a traveler visit this page.