“Green” growth for the future of Sicily 

After registering almost 15 million visitors to Sicily in 2022, the momentum continued in 2023 with a total of 16,462,000 thousand visitors, an increase of 10.8%. The figure is even more significant when looking at the foreign component (+24.8% compared to 2022), which drove tourist flows in the region. In absolute terms, 8,040,818 foreign visitors went to Sicily in 2023. 

 

The lengthening of the season 

Another interesting aspect that emerges from the analysis is related to the lengthening of the tourist season and the diversification of tourist experiences. Provisional data for 2023 showed that the tourist flow was no longer concentrated exclusively in the typically summer months, as in the past, but better distributed throughout the year. This was characterised by significant percentage increases, especially in low season months – particularly between January and March – notably in foreign visitors. There continues to be a strong French and German presence, with a notable increase from other markets, including from the USA and Britain. 

 

Analysis 

Renato Schifani, president of the Region, said “Data on tourist flow trends in Sicily are the result of effective sector policies implemented by the regional administration. The regional government will implement targeted policies aimed at the seasonal adjustment of tourist flows.” 

 

Sustainable growth 

The sustainability of tourism is becoming an increasingly central commitment for regional policies.  Elvira Amata, regional councillor for tourism, confirms this, emphasising how, “consistently with national and European planning tools, we want to support the competitiveness of tourism businesses, their development and the integrated and sustainable use of cultural and natural resources with the specific aim of reversing the seasonality trend.” The intention is to make Sicily a destination that is increasingly ready to attract and accommodate new demand, in a greener way that is oriented towards nature, culture and sustainability, through offers in line with new demand trends that appear increasingly focused on types of tourism that go beyond the most traditional. 

To strengthen action aimed at the deseasonalisation of tourist flows, the department intends to further consolidate initiatives that have already increased tourist flows during the low season.

Laura Dominici

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