Articolo disponibile anche in: Italian

Italian farm-stays have grown more than 129% from 1998 to today. There are currently 22,238 authorized farm-stays in Italy. There has been a constant growth, considering that since 2003 there has been an increase in 70.8% and that in the last year the number grew by 2.3%.

“This is a growth that has been motivated by different factors”, affirms Valentina Canali, General director of Agro Camera, historic scientific partner of Agrie Tour, “beginning with the noticeable tendency of our agricultural businesses to aim at multi-functionality through diversification and innovation”.

The most consistent growth can be seen in central Italy (+5.1%) in respect to northern Italy (+1.7%.) The south and the islands, however, have registered a decrease of 1.1%. The market response is also positive.

In 2015, in fact, according to a survey by ISTAT regarding the movement of customers in receiving structures, the presences (number of overnights spent in farm-stays by guests), equals 11.3 million (+4.9% compared to 2014). It is interesting to note that more than one out of three farms stays are run by women (36.1%).

The largest concentration of companies run by women can be found in Tuscany (1791), Which represent 40.8% of the businesses in the region and 8% nationally. Traditional cuisine reigns supreme: one out of two farm stays (50.4%) offers restaurant service, an amount that is growing yearly.

Cooking, therefore, is one of the elements that is a motive of attraction to the agri-tourist. There are currently more than 430,000 place settings, a 137% increase since1998. Out of these businesses, 13.4% have restaurants only, while 72.8% combine food with hospitality. There are also farm-stays that offer wine tasting (27.8%).

In fact, in the town of Arezzo,  the only Championship of farm cooking takes place. Once again, this year will showcase traditional regional recipes prepared in participating farm stays. For the 15th edition of Agrie Tour, at the Arezzo Fairs and Congresses, the agri-tourism sector will be analyzed.

The National Congress of farm-stays and multifunctional agriculture, the only major appointment in Italy dedicated to the world of rural vacations, is returning with many activities on the program.

“Agritourism (farm-stays) is a word that the world values like ‘spaghett’ because it is a trademark born, grown, and formed only in Italy”, explains Andrea Boldi, President of Arezzo Fairs. “It Is a model for tourism that has been studied in other countries of the world but which only in Italy has legislation that regulates their activities. Here at Agrie Tour, we have been discussing its evolution for 15 years”.