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Online Tourism in Italy

  • Nielsen in its latest Report analyzes the relationship that has become increasingly consolidated among Web users and the holidays

Close to the much dreamed summer break, Nielsen in its latest Report analyzes the relationship that has become increasingly consolidated among Web users and the holidays, both in terms of sharing opinions and experiences online and use the Web as a channel to find the predominant information about upcoming travel destinations and the purchase of their vacation online. 

Since the beginning of 2011 until the month of July messages/post distributed in the network (between communities of online users, social networks, blogs and forums) regarding holidays and vacations were about 323,000, with a volume that shows an evident growth during the Christmas break, Easter and the approach of the summer holidays when the Italians are more likely to schedule and plan their holiday destinations. The summer break is considered by Italians as the most important holiday period, the longer ones and for which you build the greatest expectations: this is also evident from the large number of posts/threads recorded from 16th  to 24th July 2011 with over 24,000 messages exchanged, a number nearly doubled compared to those recorded at the first spring break, the Easter holidays, and volumes tripled considering the period of May. 

Analyzing the data of recent years is recognized as, after the peak of the month of July, the interest in this subject in the network suffers a physiological decline during the month of August. However, with the increasing popularity of the latest mobile phones, - about 20 million users have a smartphone, of which 40% of the benefits to reach the network (Nielsen, Mobile Media Q1 2011) - an increasing number of consumers carries with them the Web while on vacation and thus continue to share their travel experiences in real-time. 

Thanks to the various online communities, the choice of holidays destinations for consumer are increasingly influenced by the Buzz Marketing (or word of mouth): just think that social networks like Twitter and Facebook (with reference to the public pages ) in the period that anticipates the vacations accounted for 33% of the discussions on holidays. In this context it is therefore easy to imagine that such tools, thanks to their speed and distribution, will continue to increase its leadership for the entire month of August, keeping alive in the network the theme of travel and tourism in general. 

The web today, however, also appears to be the main tool for finding information on the websites of tour operators and for the purchase of holidays packages and other travel services: there are about 18 million Italians who have visited at least one travel site in June 2011 (data Audiweb powered by Nielsen), an increase of 17% compared to 2010. 

In particular, the Web sites that have registered the most significant increases in visitors compared to 2010 are the portals of the major online travel agencies like Edreams (in fact recently awarded with the NetObserver brand as one of the best e-commerce sites) , Priceline and Expedia and sites where surfers can comment and share their experiences with others as Tripadvisor, with approximately 11,8 million users (+22% in the year). The hotel booking sites, such as,, and Trivago, reached 6,8 million visitors (+27% compared to 2010) while the sites of the main destinations, with more amusement parks (Gardaland , Rainbow Magicland and Mirabiliandia in particular) at the top of the standings, recorded 4,3 million visitors and an increase of 26% for 2011. 

These data therefore argue more and more Web 2.0 and Internet in general as a tool for excellence for research, information and sharing in the daily life of Italians as well as a strategic area for companies to expand or preserve in order to ensure their brand the required online visibility.