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In the splendid setting of Cannes, from 6 to 9 December 2021, the 20th edition of ILTM’s flagship event dedicated to luxury tourism was held.

The famous French coastal city will be known to most for its Film Festival, attended each year by the best actors and actresses in the star system, and its coveted prizes, including the Palme d’Or. We will all have dreamed, at least once, of walking along the enchanting Promenade de la Croisette, the oldest promenade in the city with an unparalleled view, divided between the sea and luxury boutiques and hotels.

Eternal glimpses of this incredible city can be seen in Alfred Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief, in Brian de Palma’s Femme Fatale, or French Kiss, starring the film stars Kevin Kline and Meg Ryan.

The General Manager of Carrani Tours, Chiara Gigliotti, commented on our participation stating: “December is always the best month to take stock of a year’s work and never as in 2021 has Italy been the destination most dreamed of by so many travellers eager to return to our beautiful country. ILTM is the perfect event to conquer the international market with the most appealing offer among luxury DMCs and we take our place among the very best.”

ILTM Portfolio Director, Alison Gilmore, said, “This year ILTM Cannes brought together luxury travel professionals from 73 countries with over 1300 suppliers from around the world for a week of 1-1 meetings – over 50,000 in total – in an extensive programme dedicated to networking. With high-level security measures, the event was a success for industry professionals, as well as a catalyst for new partnerships in the luxury sector.”

Italy is confirmed as a top-level destination and ENIT played a leading role. With more than 1,700 international buyers, 92 operators, 28 private tour operators and Italian local authorities in a 520sqm exhibition – the largest among the national operators present – it set the pace for high-profile networking, decisively influencing the future of luxury tourism towards the Bel Paese.

Cannes was thus able to reveal Italy in all its magnificence, showcasing the country’s excellence, expertise, diversity, creativity, warmth and confidence, and presenting it as a luxury destination par excellence.

A market such as luxury, which in its tourist declination generates 15% of the total turnover of the hotel sector and 25% of total tourist expenditure (direct and indirect), reported an 80% of pre-Covid purchases coming from foreign tourists, for a total of 3% of Italian GDP.

High-end international tourists spend around 25 billion euros in Italy (7 billion for accommodation, 2 billion for food and drink and 14 billion for visits, experiences or shopping), 14% more than any other group.

So luxury tourism definitely seems to have what it takes to elevate the rest of the tourism industry, helping to promote regional and cultural heritage through captivating storytelling that fascinates and makes one dream.

Italy is a destination that can also meet the needs of luxury tourism, which has lost none of its charm,” commented ENIT’s President Giorgio Palmucci. “About 45% of high-end travellers have come to Italy at least once in the last five years and about 13% have come at least four times in the last five years (mainly Europeans and Russians). In terms of travel experience, Italy is the top destination for high-end travellers, who come mainly for art, culture, food and drink according to surveys developed by Altagamma with the collaboration of ENIT, Bain & Company, Boston Consulting Group and Global Blue“.

“Luxury tourism today favours small towns and lesser-known villages for unique experiences and a greater sense of security given the historical moment we live in. The clients we have met expressed that luxury is not simply a 5-star hotel, a helicopter tour or exclusive yachts anymore. It is rather the opportunity to live unique experiences, to connect the guest to the real culture of the country he is visiting. This is even more true for those who have already been here: if you’re looking for the mass attraction, you want to admire it when it’s at its best and just for you, ready to welcome you and make you live unrepeatable moments,” says our Sales Executive Claudia Tafuri, who has met more than 40 clients from all over the world for Carrani Tours.

By 2025 the luxury clientele in Italy will reach 450 million compared to 390 million in 2019 and Italy remains the No.1 target for luxury holidays. Traditionally considered an ideal destination for high spenders, families and honeymooners, the Bel Paese continues to attract a growing number of Millennials and Generation Z. 

Representing 20% of international tourists, they are the new customers in this recovery phase and have specific desires and expectations. For these customers, a luxury holiday is a symbol of their status, which identifies their belonging to a given elite social group, and every moment becomes contemporary because it is shared through social networks. 

The customer, therefore, becomes the promoter of his own journey (source: CNR-IRISS) and to meet the demands of this new clientele, Italy has also taken action on the digitalisation of the market, promoting new values of sustainability and orienting the luxury sector towards a new era that is more environmentally friendly.

In addition to Francesca Cicatelli for ENIT, Federalberghi and TTG Italia also spoke about the catalytic role of the tourism authority and its luxury companies.

ILTM is now looking ahead to its next editions: ILTM Latin America in Sao Paulo (BRA), from 3 to 6 May 2022 and ILTM Asia Pacific in Singapore (SG), scheduled for 22 and 23 June 2022.

The data collected and the testimonials reported by our customers tell us, once again, that ours is a country that can be enjoyed in any season and Carrani’s long experience leads to the promotion of activities and moments of pure connection with the Italian spirit, a factor that customers say is the most important to be able to truly define a trip as “luxury”.

We invite you to stay by our side through social networks or by subscribing to our newsletter to keep dreaming in true Italian style and start planning the best holiday in the Bel Paese.



Micol is one of our Content Creators with an immense passion for hospitality. Her daily mission is to make sure that Carrani Tours – Gray Line I Love Rome tours and experiences are perfectly loaded on the website, to offer our guests from all over the world a dream experience. Born and raised in Rome, she lives in Marino, in the beautiful, green and gourmet Castelli Romani area. With her degree in Conference Interpreting and Translation, she dreams of connecting all the English-speaking readers to the world of Carrani Tours – Gray Line I Love Rome!