Tourism is boosted by luxury

TICINO

The luxury industry is back. Some may say that it never disappeared. Ticino has a long tradition of tourism in this segment. That is true. However, it is also the case that the statistics indicate a new beginning. Or a comeback.

 Tourism is boosted by luxury
San pellegrino CdT/ch Dany Stauffacher

Tourism is boosted by luxury

San pellegrino CdT/ch Dany Stauffacher

 Tourism is boosted by luxury
Luxury relaunches tourism

Tourism is boosted by luxury

Luxury relaunches tourism

So, we begin with the most recent numbers. In Lugano, during Easter, the 4 & 5 star hotels boomed.Between Friday and Sunday, the average occupancy of the hotels exceeded 90%. The latest data processed by the Observatory on Tourism of USI confirms this. Last February, 4-star hotels were the only hotels in Ticino to register an increase in overnight stays on an annual basis: + 10.4% for a total of 22,878 nights. This is an impressive figure, particularly when compared with the general decline recorded (instead) across all other lodging categories.

Luxury is an extremely important market share that is too often undervalued and on which Ticino’s tourism sector should focus more.

«We can point to the beginning of this new trend with the reopening of Ticino’s hotels on May 4, 2020. Following the first wave of contagion, we noted a strong return of interest in this segment. Right from the start there was a tendency to book hotels with wide spaces and large gardens». shared Lorenzo Pianezzi, president of HotellerieSuisse Ticino. A view that is also confirmed by the analysis of Igor Sarman, researcher at IRE: «Between July and October 2020 tourism in Ticino increased by 12.6% of overnight stays compared to the average of the previous 10 years.

But the largest percentage increase occurred precisely among 4- and 5-star hotels. According to the data of the Federal Office of Statistics, the two categories of accommodation experienced an increase in overnight stays of 29.8% and - respectively - 21.3%». In other words, it is enough to understand that the pandemic in Ticino has also coincided with luxury. «The strong demand for these types of accommodation can be seen as a sort of response to the deprivation that people have been experiencing for several months: the impossibility of going abroad for vacations has shifted a large portion of the demand for tourism, mostly Confederate, to Ticino. And the accrued savings have been directed towards a demand for high quality accommodation».

A working group

Therefore, this is the overall scenario that clearly has not slipped by Ticino Turismo. «Luxury is a segment that we have been developing for some time, but now we want to pay more attention to it». Angelo Trotta adds: « During these months we are reviewing the strategy of the agency in light of the major changes brought about by the pandemic. Luxury will occupy an important role in this comprehensive review. Along with other themes such as, for example, sustainability or digitalization. In all cases, we have started an in-depth reflection on the subject of luxury and created a working group involving various players in the sector. The objective is to map the segment in as much detail as possible.

Who are luxury customers? And what are they looking for in Ticino? And what can we offer them to ensure that we continue to be a quality destination?» But then again, we ask the director, What could be changed in the future? «We could dedicate more resources to the sector. Not just to promote those locations which already have a tourism vocation linked to luxury, such as Ascona and Lugano, but also offer innovative tourism products.»

The return

As we mentioned earlier, Ticino has a long established tradition of luxury. This is proven by the fact that in the area we have some of the most renowned hotels at a federal level. We boast golf courses and award-winning restaurants. And yet, there are those who believe that the tourism offer of the sector has not always been articulated in an organic and sufficient manner: « All too often, I have the feeling that the term luxury is intimidating and that we barely want to mention it. This change in Ticino Turismo is something I can only be pleased about». Speaking is Dany Stauffacher, who has been involved in promoting Ticino’s food and wine culture for years.

He believes that the moment is right for a change in mentality: «The economic impact of the luxury industry cannot be compared to any other segment. Dany Stauffacher considers that now is the time to seize the opportunity. «The pandemic has limited the prospects of many tourists from the Confederation, thereby bringing back to Ticino a part of the clientele that is willing to spend a little more. We cannot afford to lose them»!

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