The recovery of tourism after the pandemic has boosted the Italian food industry, which has become Italy’s top single asset to the tune of a record 580 billion euros in the last year despite the energy crisis linked to the war in Ukraine, farmers’ group Coldiretti said in a report out Friday.
The report, titled ‘Food and tourism, Italy Winning’, will be presented at a meeting in Milan later Friday with Tourism Minister Daniela Santanchè and Agriculture and Food Sovereignty Minister Francesco Lollobrigida.
The return to full activity of catering and hospitality activities, from restaurants to agriturismi, has had a major impact on the Italian food supply chain, which is now worth almost a quarter of the national GDP, the report said.
The huge production chain employs some four million workers in 740 farms and other agricultural firms, 70,000 food manufacturing facilities, as well as 330,000 hospitality and restaurant firms and 230,000 retail outlets, Coldiretti said.
Food has become the main item of the household budgets of Italians and foreigners holidaying in Italy with around one third of spending on meals out but also for buying food products, gastronomic and wine specialities and souvenirs, said the report.
Foreigners who vacation in Italy continue to seek Italian products once they get home with a major boost to food exports, said Coldiretti.