Destination Analysis: Regions of Italy - Milan, Apulia, Basilicate
The Milan metropolis or “Greater Milan” in northern Italy includes the city of Milan, the administrative center of the Lombardy region, and 10 Lombard provinces with a total population of about 9 million people. It is the fifty-fourth largest metropolis in the world.
If Rome is “old Italy”, then Milan is its modern symbol, the business and financial center of the country.
Milan is the first in the ranking of the most “fashionable” cities in Italy. Here you can find shops and boutiques of all famous Italian and international brands. In the second and third places after Milan in the ranking of “fashionable cities of the country” are Rome and Florence.
But people go to Milan not only for shopping, but also for art. And if you add science and technology to art, then this city will become even more spectacular. The Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology, which has recently been completely renovated, is the largest exhibition of technical models and drawings created by a great genius. In Milan there is also the main opera stage not only of Italy, but of the whole world - La Scala. At different times, Giuseppe Verdi, Arturo Toscanini, Maria Callas, Renata Tibaldi, Fedor Chaliapin and many others were here. In February 2020, the main stage of the theater hosted the opera production of Giuseppe Verdi "Troubadour", which, since the premiere in 1853, has retained its position in the ranking of the popularity of world opera productions.
One of the main attractions of Milan is the Sforza Castle - the brilliant residence of the Milanese Dukes of the Sforza dynasty. Leonardo da Vinci took part in its painting, and the square in front of the castle was built by the order of Napoleon. In the following centuries, the legendary castle witnessed many battles and had gloomy glory. At the beginning of the XX century, restorers returned its former splendor.
For over 30 years, the international tourism exhibition BIT Milano has been held annually in Milan, attracting tour operators from around the world, numerous visitors, travel enthusiasts, television and press. BIT Milano provides meetings between key decision makers, industry experts and buyers from geographic areas with the highest economic growth rates. From February 9 to February 11, BIT Milano 2020 was attended by 1 100 exhibitors from 68 countries, and the total number of visitors exceeded 40 000.
In accordance with the statistics of the local tourism office, Big Milan was visited by: 20 606 Russians in 2014, 128 905 in 2015, 126 600 in 2016, 168 278 in 2017 and 176 029 in 2018. At the same time, the share of Russian-speaking guests in the total number of tourists in 2014 amounted to 5,6%, in 2015 – 3,2%, 2016 – 3,1%, 2017 – 3,7% and 2018 – 3,9%.
The main “attraction” for Russians in Milan is luxury shopping, as well as world cultural heritage sites. They mainly choose 4* -5* hotels, and the average stay is 2,4 nights.
In 2015, the Milan office took part in the Moscow tourism exhibition MITT, and also cooperated with some Russian air carriers (Aeroflot, Russia, UTair) for publishing articles about Milan in their advertising brochures on boards. As for the advertising company in Russia, it is not currently planned, although it is not excluded in the future. Nevertheless, the office is always ready to support Russian journalists and authors of TV travel programs by providing information, tips, content, materials of the city and excursions, conducted by professional guides.
Puglia is an administrative region in southeastern Italy, surrounded by the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. It is very popular among Russian tourists, as in this region there are the best Italian beaches, both wild and fully-equipped, really tasty food and wine, many interesting places to visit, mild climate, authenticity and high standards of living.
The main attractions that Russian tourists visit are St. Nicholas Cathedral in Bari, Alberobello (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and Polignano a Mare, a picturesque small town on the Adriatic coast.
The average price for tour from Russia in Puglia is 1 300 Euros per person, and the preferred hotels are of 4*-5*.
According to statistics from the local tourism office, more than 100 000 Russian tourists visited Puglia in 2019, up 47% from 2018. Moreover, their share in the total number of foreign tourists amounted to 4%.
The local office also has business and partnerships with Russian magazines Living Italy, Italiy, Good Time Tour (St. Petersburg), in which it publishes advertising and editorial articles on travels in the region. Last year, the author’s travel film across the Apulia of the famous TV presenter Zhanna Badoeva was released. Polina Kitsenko, the owner of the Podium boutique chain, which is called as the leading woman in the Russian fashion industry, also spoke about her journey to Puglia on her blog.
Basilicata (formerly Lucania) is an administrative region in southern Italy near the Gulf of Taranto of the Ionian Sea.
The number of tourists, including Russian ones, is small in Basilicata. They are attracted, first of all, by ancient monuments and picturesque landscapes. One of these monuments is the ancient rocky city of Matera, which was included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1993.
Also, one of the places popular among Russians in Basilicata is Maratea - the only city in this region located on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Thanks to its beautiful coastline, Maratea is called as the “pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea”. And due to the presence of a significant number of churches and chapels, Maratea is called the “city of 44 churches”.
According to the statistics of the local tourism office, Basilicatu was visited by: in 2015 – 1 297 Russians, in 2016 – 1 566, in 2017 – 1 919, in 2018 – 2 255. At the same time, the share of Russian-speaking guests in the total number of tourists in 2015 was 1,3%, in 2016 – 1,4%, in 2017 – 1,7% and in 2018 – 1,9%.
In Basilicata, Russians mostly choose 4*-5* hotels, and the average stay is 2,4 nights.
As for the advertising campaigns in Russia, according to employees of the local tourist office, at present time, Russia is not their significant source market.