BitMilano's journey among the Italian territories continues and, with the new accessions of Abruzzo, Tuscany and Lombardy, it is becoming the spokesperson for Italy's most appealing destinations in the world. Lombardy in particular is recording record numbers on the tourism front this year, confirming a renewed international interest especially in its unique landscapes.
In addition to the presences already confirmed, BIT 2024 will also be joined by Lombardy, a region with a strong spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship, which boasts an artistic and cultural heritage of great value, with almost 400 museums and more than one million cultural assets registered. The setting is a fascinating landscape, with parks, archaeological areas, nature reserves and lakes, as well as a varied food and wine offer with typical local dishes.
This year Lombardy is achieving record results on the tourism front: 28 million presences in the first 7 months of 2023, confirming an attraction not only for Milan, which is getting ready to break the record of 10 million visitors, but also for the lakes and mountains. As also highlighted by Barbara Mazzali, Counselor for Tourism, Fashion, Territorial Marketing and Major Events of the Lombardy Region, “presences are up by 11.4% compared to four years ago, with a particularly strong increase in foreigners, +15.4% compared to 2019”.
Already in 2022, the Lombardy tourism system was ranked among the top five regional destinations, reaching a total of 14 million presences, or 38.1% of annual presences, in the July-September summer period alone.
These figures underline the full recovery of tourist movements compared to 2019. From January to April 2023, Lombardy's mountains and Alpine pastures recorded 527,472 arrivals and 2.2 million presences, with an average stay of 4.3 nights; the lakes, on the other hand, recorded 792,931 arrivals and 2.5 million presences, with an average stay of 3.2 nights. Numbers that are not only on the rise compared to the previous season, but are also expected to increase for the summer months.
International travelers lead the ranking of presences in the region, reaching 60.45% and 63.50% of the total respectively; percentages also confirmed by mobile phone data, which indicated an increase in users with non-Italian sim cards in the first quarter of 2023, highlighting a renewed interest of foreign tourists in Lombardy's destinations. With an increase in the number of Swiss, Saudi, French, Polish, Thai and Chinese tourists, the most marked increase compared to 2022 was in May (+24.5%), followed by April (+25.3%) and June (+8%).
Numbers that hint at possible further growth, considering the major events that will involve Lombardy in the coming years, including the Milan-Cortina 2026 Winter Olympics, which will bring a large number of tourists from all over the world to the area. Events of this magnitude have the power to highlight, on a global level, local excellences and traditions, encouraging trips to discover the region; they also represent a significant driver of development, in terms of new local policies to enhance and improve places, products and services.
With this in mind, trade fairs, and first and foremost Bit, will also play a key role, to engage new targets and promote the region's image nationally and internationally, with luxury proposals and high-level experiences for high-end tourism.
In the midst of this development and growth, the Lombardy region will participate in BIT 2024, with the aim of further implementing its regional positioning in international markets.