Lazio as a luxury destination at Expo 2020 Dubai

At the Emirates Exhibition, the forum “Lazio, a Luxury Destination” illustrated the potential of attraction that Lazio Region can develop in relation to travellers from the Gulf area looking for culture, wellness, fashion, sport and top of the range gastronomy made in Lazio


The forum “Lazio, a Luxury Destination”, organised by the Lazio Region Tourism Department, was held today at the Amphitheatre of the Italian Pavilion in Dubai. The event was attended, among others, by Paolo Glisenti, Commissioner General of Italy at EXPO 2020 Dubai; Valentina Corrado, Regional Minister for Tourism, Local Authorities, Urban Security, Local Police and Administrative Simplification of Lazio ; Quirino Briganti, EXPO 2020 Dubai Coordinator of the Lazio Region; Matteo Caroli, Professor of Economics and Management of International Businesses at Luiss University; Giorgio Palmucci, President of ENIT; Marco Misischia, National President of CNA; Lavinia Biagiotti, President and CEO of Biagiotti Group; Fausto Palombelli, President of Unindustria Tourism and Leisure Industry Section and Carlo Acampora, CEO Grand Hotel Via Veneto.

The event was an opportunity to take stock of luxury tourism, which represents an important strategic lever for Italy in terms of induced activities and growth potential. Our country is, in fact, one of the most sought after destinations in the world by high-end tourists and, in this respect, Lazio plays a strategic role, also as a potential attractor for travellers from the Persian Gulf area and the Arabian Peninsula.

According to the report on the high-end tourism market, carried out in May 2021 by Bain & Company on behalf of Altagamma, in 2019, the year before the outbreak of the pandemic, this particular segment, although it involved less than 1% of facilities in terms of supply and only 3% of nights in terms of demand, managed to generate 15% of the hospitality business and 25% of tourist spending in Italy, with a total turnover of 25 billion euros which, in “normal” years, can generate up to 60 billion euros in direct and indirect revenue, equal to 3% of Italian GDP.

“Lazio has immense potential to offer this specific segment of tourism: top-level food and wine, art, culture and local excellence in the field of craftsmanship are all elements on which we have been betting strongly for years. In addition to the immense beauty of Rome, there is an enormous wealth preserved in our territory: an interweaving of beauty, traditions and places that are unique in the world and able to attract and amaze high-end tourism”. These are the words of the President of Lazio, Nicola Zingaretti.

In addition to the economic impact, driven mainly by foreign tourists, high-end tourism contributes to the enhancement of the image of Italy as a destination abroad and is a driving force for the promotion and development of Made in Italy excellence. In general, Food and Shopping are the main reasons for choosing a destination. According to the BCG Report for Altagamma (2021), in the perception of luxury tourists Italy ranks first for art cities and country destinations and for experiences related to food and wine, art and culture.

“The participation of the Lazio Region in an event of such great value and international scope is a unique opportunity to showcase our potential to a worldwide audience. For the first time ever, we are also promoting Lazio with a declination oriented towards luxury tourism, a segment that is experiencing strong growth and expansion for the entire regional tourism sector, with the aim of strengthening the recognition of the Lazio brand and the top of the range excellences in a closely synergic network between institutions, associations, companies and operators, highlighting how our region is a firm point of reference for travellers and leisure tourists. In addition to Rome, the city of art par excellence and one of the most visited destinations in the world, Lazio also includes a network of lesser-known destinations, embellished by beauties and peculiarities with an enormous cultural, artistic and tourist connotation, and boasts important strategic assets and inimitable factors of attraction, including: a natural vocation for wellness tourism; a solid high-end commercial offer characterised by the most iconic brands of Made in Italy; a strong concentration of luxury accommodation facilities, villas and prestigious residences; a significant range of food and wine and starred restaurants; an immense tangible, intangible and natural heritage, 6 UNESCO heritage sites and, again, a rich calendar of international events capable of attracting the attention of a public with great purchasing power. We are promoting a sector that has been dramatically affected by the current pandemic, by directly influencing the supply and demand curve with planning actions and investments capable of stimulating the entire tourism chain and its allied industries with the aim of supporting the sector and making our territory more attractive and competitive on international markets. Telling the most evocative sceneries of our region and the experiences of potential interest for those coming from the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula allows us to establish an intimate connection with our guests and give them authentic emotions,” said Valentina Corrado, Regional Minister for Tourism, Local Authorities, Urban Security, Local Police and Administrative Simplification of Lazio.

The city of Rome, one of the five destinations preferred by travellers from the elite non-European segment, can promote and increase the attractiveness of Lazio for those coming from the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Peninsula: tourists who usually prefer cities of art, fashion and design, opting for destinations with offers linked to wellness and in locations that offer activities for families in exclusive structures and with respect for privacy, security and high standards of service.

The demand of the so-called leisure travellers from the Gulf is for authentic experiences in high-end hospitality and the opportunity to shop made in Italy, in the name of typical high-level gastronomy. This is therefore an important segment for Lazio’s tourist economy and all its allied industries, to the benefit of the economic and productive system of our territory.