Traveling outdoors: the tourist trend of summer 2021

For the summer of 2021, tourists who choose an outdoor holiday will be between 45 and 49 million. 55% are Italian: sustainable tourism in contact with nature is still growing


These are days when talking about tourism has become really complicated. If in the first months of the health emergency there was a great excitement and a great desire to take back time, nature and life, after a year the persistence of the emergency condition led us to feel greater mistrust towards of tomorrow and hope has become such a precious flame that often one is better off pretending not to see it, waiting in an agnostic silence for everything to pass.

Today we hope in the vaccine and in a slightly “faster” resolution that in a few months can make us get out of the sensations and emotions linked to an Italy of colored regions, waiting for Friday to discover the weekly destiny and to the reading of what can and, above all, what cannot be done in the area.

If possible, this second phase of the epidemic, after the summer break, was far more difficult on an emotional level, forced to combine the duties of work and existence with the limitations imposed by the various DPCM. However, the experience of other countries can induce a certain sense of trust in us: the darkness could gradually fade towards the light, day after day. And travel, holidays, freedom, real life will return.

Already last year a large percentage of tourists turned their attention to sustainable tourism and above all en plein air and it seems that this year too outdoor tourism could be the optimal solution in choosing the destination and travel method.


Firstly, walking, hiking and cycling tourism was already a growing sector in 2019, when the virus was not yet tormenting our days. The contact with nature and the desire for an invigorating and healthy holiday had pushed many Italians and non-Italians to choose this new way of traveling and enjoying the territory.

On the other hand, moving outdoors, in the past summer, was a good option as it offered greater safety; outdoor tourism guarantees a certain “isolation”, leading to avoid gatherings and “danger” situations related to the epidemic.

And, above all, traveling in the open air certainly offers a great chance to restore one’s balance, even more so after the difficult condition of forced isolation, whether it is linked to the impossibility of moving around colored areas or, more generally, to the inability to share space and time with family and friends.

The forecasts on the national sector of the fifth edition of the Human Company Outdoor Tourism Observatory, created in collaboration with THRENDS, a company specialized in analysis and strategies of the Tourism & Hospitality sector, estimated that in the next summer season, tourists who will choose an outdoor holiday open air will be between 45 and 49 million. 55% of the estimated figure should be made up of Italian citizens.

The focus is on the months of August and September when, thanks to the vaccination campaign which should have marked satisfactory, if not optimal, results at that date, confidence in travel and safety should lead to a large number of presences.

And the outdoor holiday should be the choice of most, if it is true that 75% of Italians would be in favor of a choice linked to sustainable tourism, as emerged from a research by the Piepoli Institute.

If the forecasts prove to be true, it can be said that en plein air tourism will represent the tourism trend of summer 2021.

The days are getting warmer and the desire for tranquility and carefree, even if a little hidden in the folds of uncertainty and disillusionment, is making its way through our thoughts. Maybe it’s a bit early to say, but the summer of rebirth and a new tomorrow could be upon us. You can start looking forward to a relaxing holiday, with your mind a little further away from the difficulties of this long winter.

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