Tourism in Italy is a profitable sector of the Italian economy, based on the use of recreational resources. Italy is the fifth most visited country in the world and the fourth in terms of tourism revenues. The estimated annual tourism revenue is US $ 10 billion. The share in GDP is 12%. According to the statistics of the UN World Tourism Organization on the international tourist flow in 2017, Italy, with 58 million visitors, ranked fifth after China, the USA, Spain and France.
Also, the country, which became the heir of Ancient Rome, involves foreign tourists on an extraordinary journey into the ancient world. Italy - the cradle of European civilization - has preserved its past as much as it could and is investing millions of euros in the reconstruction of architectural monuments. The project to restore the Leaning Tower of Pisa cost the Italian taxpayer 25 million euros. The altar of peace in Rome was covered with a glass sarcophagus worth 20 million euros.
How much are the sights of Italy - a reason for discussion and subtle calculations, however, in terms of hypothesis, Italian economists made a theoretical calculation of the cost of some "diamonds" in the crown of Italian tourism: the Colosseum is worth 91 billion euros in theory, the Vatican Museums - 90 billion, and the Chianti hills in Tuscany - 4 billion euros.
After the fall of the Roman Empire and the ensuing period of barbarian invasions, providing shelter for travelers became the prerogative of monastic orders. Many monasteries offered shelter to travelers and pilgrims, while offering first aid services, guidance and advice. However, over time, hospitality began to be valued in monetary terms. This is how the first roadside trattoria inns appeared - inns offering overnight stays sometimes - entertainment with girls of easy virtue for a fee. If we evaluate tourism in Italy from the point of view of documentary evidence, then perhaps the first formal and written certificate of payment for "tourist services" can be considered the Book of Expenses of a German bishop named Wolfger Volchero di Erla, 1204, which punctually describes living expenses two people in the amount of 24 soldi in a trattoria plus the cost of 9 soldi bread and 8 soldi wine.
The very first Pilgrim's Guide in Italy was published in the 12th century. The manuscript was called Mirabilia Urbis Romae "Wonders of the City of Rome" and included descriptions of landmarks, Christian and pagan monuments mixed with stories and legends. Medieval tourism had an exclusively religious basis and was an echo of the travels of fans to Palestine. The Catholic Church has done everything possible to redirect the massive flows of pilgrims to the holy places of Italy. One of the trump cards, undoubtedly, was the city of Assisi - the birthplace of the patron saint of Italy, St. Francis of Assisi.
Non-religious in terms of motives and mass scale tourism in Italy originated in the Renaissance, when many European aristocrats began to go or willingly sent their offspring to the centers of the Renaissance Florence, Rome to learn the art of architecture, painting and literature. In the period from 1700 to 1800, voyage trips to southern Europe became especially popular among the aristocratic youth of Europe in order to deepen their knowledge of the history of ancient Greek civilization, as well as ancient Rome. This is what Goethe, Chateaubriand, Stendhal, Shelley and hundreds of other famous European writers did. The concept of Cultural Tourism is born, followed by Spa Tourism and Treatment and finally Business Tourism deals in unusual and privileged locations. All these movements of travelers could not be massive, not only because of their elitism. Europe awaited the invention of the steam locomotive and the internal combustion engine, as well as the slow but steady development of transport arteries.
Beach tourism, also associated with the purchase of villas and estates, was exclusive. Italy, by inertia, relied more on ancient sights, history, culture and art in order to attract foreign tourists. However, since the mid-60s of the XX century. there was a turning point. The first sign was the decision of the Italian government on the economic renewal of the Sardinia region. Tourism has become a priority, and 1962 can be considered the official date of birth of the new tourist miracle of Italy - beachfront Sardinia.
Around the same time, the first, still weak, but persistent waves of new mass tourism began to appear. Hoteliers and new investors have realized that quantity is everything. As a result, by 2011, Italy already has an impressive arsenal of hotel structures: in 2011, the birthplace of Pinocchio earned about 30 billion euros in tourism. According to ISTAT 2011, the hotel fund in Italy includes more than 145.58 host structures. Among them 69.02 private houses and villas for rent, 33.67 hotels, 20. 37 Bed and breakfast B & Bs, 15.17 agritourism houses and estates, 2.70 campsites and tourist villages.
Beach tourism in Italy was not a specific branch of the tourism industry until the 60s of the XX century. The islands of international beach tourism developed mainly in the traditional sphere of VIP tourism: Amalfi, Capri, Versilia, Ischia, San Remo and some others.
The length of the Italian coastline is 7455 km. If you add islands, then the picture of beach Italy becomes simply immense. No other state located in the Mediterranean basin can boast such a variety of seascape, climate, seas, local traditions and customs. Italy has opened up to massive beach tourism in a few decades. Many provinces and communes persistently and annually fight for the right to receive the Blue Flag - the European recognition of the quality and ecology of the sea.