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How Many Tourists from the United Kingdom Visit Tuscany?

As I mentioned in a previous post, someone asked me how many people from the United Kingdom visit the Italian region of Tuscany. I answered this question and after some whizzing around the Italian corner of the world wide web, I came up with estimates for 2011 and 2012.

I thought others may find it useful to know how to calculate the number of people from the United Kingdom or other nationalities visited Tuscany, so here’s how I did it. Do you think visitors from the UK make up the majority of visitors to Tuscany? If so, read on.

First of all to track down what I was after, I visited Italy’s national tourism observatory website in the hope of finding information. After confusing myself using the site’s database query system, I realised that all I could find was information on the total number of visitors from around the world who visit Tuscany annually.

Italy’s national tourism observatory database does not provide a region by region breakdown by nationality even if at first sight, you may think there is. I tried to find data for recent years but eventually settled on 2011. Why 2011? Simply because I found a report on tourism to Tuscany produced in part with the Italian region of Tuscany. That same report was probably based on a 2013 report on Tourism produced by Italy’s bureau of statistics ISTAT which only provides data until 2011. The region of Tuscany has information on 2012.

From a 2011 report on tourism in Tuscany, I noted that 6% of all visitors to this Italian region came from the United Kingdom – that number rose to 6.1% in 2012. A total of 43,860,000 tourists visited Italy as a whole in 2011 according to page 17 of the report.

Siena Cathedral - one of Tuscany's attractions
Siena Cathedral – one of Tuscany’s attractions


However, the total number of tourists is not enough. Instead, you need to look at overnight stays or presenze in Italian.

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Looking at the ISTAT report, the total number of overnight stays in Tuscany for 2011 was 21,567,873. How can this number be transformed into a number of tourists?

Well, rightly or wrongly, I used average length of stay – permanenza media in Italian – data. For Tuscany in 2011, the average length of stay was 3.84 nights. Nearly there.

6% of the total number of overnight stays 21,567,873 is 1,294,072 which gave me the total number of nights tourists from the UK stayed in Tuscany in Italy. I then found that in a 2014 report on tourism in Tuscany produced by the region, the figure for 2011 was 1,358,768, so I’ll use that.

Assuming that each tourist stayed 3.84 nights, the total number of people from the United Kingdom who visited Tuscany in 2011 works out to be 353,846. That number increased by 0.01% in 2012 which equates to 357,384.

The figures can only serve as a rough guide because visitors from the United Kingdom may have stayed for longer than 3.84 nights or for fewer nights. In addition, there are those tourists from the UK staying in other regions of Italy who travel to Tuscany for the day. Then, there’s the question of whether the same people visited Tuscany more than once in 2011 or 2012.

If you want to work out how many visitors of other nationalities visited Tuscany in 2012, here are some other nationalities and percentages to help you.

Germans made up 19.2% of the number of visitors to Tuscany; Americans from the USA amounted to 9.9%. Dutch people 8.6%, visitors from France 7.2%, Japanese 2.4% and lastly, the number of visitors from China, amounted to less than 2.7%.

As you now know, Tuscany is a very popular destination for Germans but does not attract the number of visitors from the United Kingdom one might expect.

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