Tourism continues to grow, with significant increases in all areas of the metropolitan city, from the capital to the hilly and Apennine areas up to Imola and the Bolognese plain.
The results linked to the cultural offer and to the slow tourism are particularly positive, segments that have been particularly appreciated by Italian and foreign visitors, even during the last Christmas period.
The forecast data for the closure of 2018, based on the numbers provided by the regional statistics (which cover the period January-October 2018), are up compared to 2017.
In Bologna, arrivals exceed well over 1,500,000, and overnight stays are over 3,200,000. The percentages of growth are respectively + 7.8% for arrivals and + 7.1% for overnight stays.
For the metropolitan city (Bologna city included), the arrivals exceed the 2,300,000 and the overnight stays are over 4,800,000, with rates of + 7.1% for arrivals and + 6.6% of overnight stays.
The figure for the average overnight stay, which is 2.1 nights, is important. As regards the origins, however, the trend of last year is confirmed: even in 2018 the numbers of Italian and foreign tourists are roughly equivalent, just as the top 5 of international visitors remain unchanged. At the top of the ranking always UK, with a growth of 3% compared to 2017. Following the United States (+ 16.2%), Germany (+ 4.4%), Spain (+ 5%) and finally France ( + 3%).
Other non-European countries recorded significant growth rates: Australia, which grew by + 28%, Japan (+ 10%) and Russia (+ 6.4%).
As for tourism from China, there is a constant number of arrivals and an increase in overnight stays, indicating an increase in individual tourism from the Far East.
Like every year the Christmas period wins above all for the New Year. According to data derived from a sample of hotel facilities in Bologna and the metropolitan city, there was a good occupation on December 25th and 26th (around 50%) and a very positive result for the New Year, with some structures in Bologna completely and others very close to total employment. The end of the year 2018 sees, unlike the previous years, a decisive return of Italian visitors who in many structures are like foreign visitors and in some cases even in a clear majority.
The increase in overnight stays had a positive economic impact through the growth in the hotel occupancy rate which, according to the reference sample, saw an increase of 4% in 2018 compared to the previous year.
During the month of December, according to surveys and interviews conducted on Italian and foreign visitors at the Bologna Welcome point of Piazza Maggiore 1 / e, the most popular offers and services have emerged in the last period of 2018.
Particular success and interest for the Dancin’Bo program, which animated the focal points of the historic center with dancing and performance in the period around the New Year: a lot of curiosity for dance performances, especially for those that saw the protagonists emblematic places of the city such as the Fountain of Neptune or the Voltone del Podestà. Over 30,000 people attended performances on the Dancin’Bo days, which add up to the 25,000 people who celebrated the New Year’s Eve in Piazza Maggiore and in the surrounding streets.
The evocative illuminations of Via d’Azeglio, linked to Lucio Dalla, have made people talk about themselves both in Bologna and out of town: the pedestrian street has been decorated with the lyrics of the song “The year to come” and attracted crowds of visitors and fans of the Bolognese singer-songwriter throughout the pre-Christmas period and the end of year festivities.
In the month of December 2018 the new Bologna Welcome Card was particularly appreciated, the tourist card which saw a technological renewal at the end of 2018. The card can now be purchased online, it is sent by e-mail directly to the tourist in electronic box in order to allow a use in a completely digital version. It is now divided into two types, Easy and Plus and the offer has been enriched with new services and a renewed catalog of museums included in the card to offer an even more complete and stimulating experience.
In the last part of the year some offers from the Bologna Welcome catalog were particularly appreciated: as far as the city was concerned, guided tours of the crypts and undergrounds were very much followed, allowing visitors to discover an unusual and mysterious Bologna and Bologna. Taste, a guided tour of the city enriched by tastings and tastings of typical products. As for the metropolitan city, the Transappenninica, a journey, was particularly successful