BENVENUTO BRUNELLO, WINE TOURISM: SUMMER TOURIST PRESENCES IN MONTALCINO REACH 2019 LEVELS: +60% ON 2020 THE ITALIANS REDISCOVER THE VAL D’ORCIA COUNTRYSIDE (+80% ON 2019)
BENVENUTO BRUNELLO, WINE TOURISM: SUMMER TOURIST PRESENCES IN MONTALCINO REACH 2019 LEVELS: +60% ON 2020
THE ITALIANS REDISCOVER THE VAL D’ORCIA COUNTRYSIDE (+80% ON 2019)
(Montalcino, 19 November 2021). Fewer Americans, British, Brazilians, Canadians, Australians; more Europeans – Germans, Belgians, Dutch – and, above all, more Italians. The factors change but the product stays the same: after just one year, tourism in Montalcino is back to pre-covid levels, at full capacity in the medieval village and among the Val d'Orcia's wineries (Unesco heritage), with over 100,000 presences in the four summer months and a recovery of almost +60% on figures for 2020. This was revealed – on the first day of the thirtieth edition of the Benvenuto Brunello – by the Consorzio del vino Brunello di Montalcino. The Consortium has processed the provisional data of the Regional Statistical Service on the number of visitors from June to September (excluding rentals), revealing an authentic rediscovery of Tuscany's Montalcino countryside by Italians. A result, in the domain of Italy's best-known wine (source: Wine Intelligence survey), in contrast with last summer's Italian tourist arrivals, which, according to Enit/Isnart, still show a significant gap compared to the figures recorded in 2019.
Overall, in a wine tourism area historically dominated by US regulars (who accounted for an average 20% of visitors) as well as Germans, British and Brazilians, Italian presences grew by around 80% compared to 2019. The babel of languages in the wine tourism mecca, which until two years ago received bookings from over 60 nations – more or less the same as the main destinations for Brunello exports worldwide – is diminishing, but the numbers are still the same. “We are recording a replacement effect that has brought us right back into line with 2019”, says Fabrizio Bindocci, president of the Consorzio del vino Brunello di Montalcino. And he adds, “Today, we have been successful in attracting the attention of Italian tourists and our closest European neighbours, those who often take for granted the riches we have in the rural areas of Italy. Tomorrow, when they return from the rest of the world, we will have to make room for everyone, the way we did before the pandemic, with wine lovers doubling in number over the last 10 years”.
A replacement effect which, this summer, witnessed people from Veneto take the place of Brazilians, those from Lombardy (+135%) take the place of Americans, and those from Piedmont – but also Rome, the Marche, Campania and Apulia – take the place of Canadians, Australians and Danes. On the whole, arrivals from good old Europe also performed well, with Germany growing 10%, knocking the United States off the top of the arrivals list, with the numbers of US visitors being halved due to the restrictions but not completely cancelled, with around 9,000 presences. Belgium and the Netherlands also showed significant growth (around +30%), as did Switzerland, Austria and emerging Poland, all with increases of around 60%. There was also a positive sign from France (+13%), but in this small wine-producing municipality (6,000 inhabitants), one of the best-known in the world, with a density of one hospitality facility for every 35 inhabitants, most of the new faces come from Lombardy, which almost tripled its number of visitors (around 14,000), from Veneto, which doubled, but also from Lazio (+31%), Emilia-Romagna (+75%) and Piedmont (150%).
In general, compared to 2019, an increase of almost 80% in the number of Italians is offset by a 30% drop in the number of foreigners, although in comparison with summer 2020 the increase was over 150%.
Between hotels, country guesthouses and other holiday accommodation, there are 92 hospitality facilities in Montalcino, in which the wineries play a fundamental role. Then there are over 50 restaurants and other eateries and the new “Tempio del Brunello”, an interactive museum set up in the complex of Sant'Agostino by Opera Laboratori in collaboration with the Consorzio del Vino. Benvenuto Brunello (19-29 November), which will be unveiling the new vintages of the prince of Tuscan wines and of Rosso di Montalcino, celebrates its 30th edition this year. It kicks off with the national and international press, and the anteprima will continue over the following days with sommeliers from top restaurants, Masters of wine, bloggers, wine lovers and others. Thanks to the last two super vintages on the market, the Brunello market is experiencing one of the finest moments in its history.
SUMMER 2021 INFOGRAPHIC: +80% ITALIAN TOURISTS ON 2019
OVER 100 THOUSAND VISITORS IN 2019 AND 2021
TOP GROWTH IN ITALY: LOMBARDY +135%, VENETO +200% PIEDMONT +150% (’21 VS ’19)
TOP FOREIGN GROWTH: SWITZERLAND AND AUSTRIA (65%) POLAND (55%) BELGIUM AND THE NETHERLANDS (+30) (’21 VS ’19)
TOP ORIGINS (2021): GERMANY, LOMBARDY, USA, LAZIO, VENETO
TOP ORIGINS (2019): USA, GERMANY, LOMBARDY, UK, BRAZIL