Tuscany still at the top in Italy as a destination chosen by foreigners to get married

Tuscany confirms itself as the preferred location for foreigners who choose Italy for the fateful ‘yes’. It is here, in fact, that the greatest number of weddings were celebrated in 2023, compared to other regions: 2600 international weddings, 12.5% ​​more than in 2022, for a turnover that grew by 29.5%, almost the share of 170 million euros, for an average spend of 65 thousand euros, or 15.3% more than in 2022. The numbers emerge from the update of the Destination Weddings in Tuscany Observatory carried out by the Centro Studi Turistici per Toscana Promozione Turistica and certify the success of the three-year tender with which Tuscany for Weddings, a division of Destination Florence Convention & Visitors Bureau for the promotion of Tuscany’s wedding offer, operated on behalf of the regional agency. A collaboration that is renewed today with the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two entities, which further expands the agreement between Destination Florence CVB and TPT: in addition to the wedding, the new protocol, approved by the Tourism Department of the Tuscany Region , involves working in tandem on conference tourism.

“The number of foreign citizens who choose Tuscany as a destination to celebrate their wedding is rising – comments president Eugenio Giani -, a result that fills us with satisfaction. The decision, made a few years ago, to create an ad hoc project, Tuscany for Weddings, thanks to the collaboration between Toscana Promozione Turistica and Destination Florence Convention & Visitors Bureau to promote the wedding offer, proved to be a winning one. I believe that for the development of this tourist segment Tuscany has everything it needs: authentic places in evocative settings combined with impeccable organisation”.

“For several years – adds the councilor for economy and tourism Leonardo Marras – Tuscany has been among the most chosen destinations by foreign citizens to celebrate their wedding. The ‘most beautiful day’ is an emotion to be experienced, but at the same time an event to be taken care of in every detail by involving many professionals. The work carried out in recent years with Toscana Promozione Turistica and Destination Florence Convention & Visitors Bureau with the Tuscany for Weddings project, and which today also extends to conference tourism, is therefore a strong point on which to continue to focus. The constant increase in those who choose this region to get married is confirmation of the goodness of this collaboration”.

“The excellent data on the wedding segment – ​​continues TPT director Francesco Tapinassi – go hand in hand with the need to enhance the conference tourism sector. It is from here that a memorandum of understanding was born which confirms and expands the relationship between Toscana Promozione Turistica and the Destination Florence Convention & Visitors Bureau, involved in both the wedding and MICE segments. Also worth considering is the role of the Destination Florence CVB in the organization of the Grand Départ of the Tour de France from Florence in June: a further element of connection between the action of the Bureau and our agency, considering TPT’s commitment to valorising of the cycling tourism sector”.

“The data on weddings in our region certify the quality of the work carried out in recent years – explains Jacopo Vicini, president of Destination Florence Convention & Visitors Bureau. – Already in 2015, we were the first Convention Bureau to create a division dedicated to the wedding segment, to promote Tuscany’s offer in Italy and abroad in an organic, coherent and structured way, and the constant increase in attendance demonstrates our foresight and rewards our efforts”.

Beyond the pandemic. The data demonstrates that the pandemic period has been overcome. Those who choose Tuscany to get married are mainly couples from the United States and the United Kingdom (60%), while as regards the type of celebration, the symbolic rite is still the preferred one (66.3%), with the civil and religious one being they stand at 22.4% and 11.3% respectively. Furthermore, 9.3% of civil and symbolic rites concern civil unions celebrated between people of the same sex. Almost one couple in two, or 48.2% of the total, relied on a wedding planner to fulfill their dream of love (+5% compared to 2022), while as regards the chosen period, 89% celebrations took place between April and September.

Overnight stays and guests. Even though the average length of stay for guests dropped slightly (3.2 nights compared to 3.3 in 2022), overnight stays in accommodation facilities rose to 496 thousand (+14.5%) and the overall business volume reached 168.7 million euros (+29.5%). The average number of guests also increased (60.6 compared to 56 in 2022) and the number of celebrations with a number of guests between 51 and 100 increased by 25%, representing 63% of the total. Overall, arrivals grew by 21.7%, reaching 157 thousand, while tourist presences linked to the wedding celebrations of foreign couples were 496 thousand (+14.5%). The preferred locations are villas, which went from 22% in 2022 to 26.7% in 2023, followed by historic residences (17.5%) and farmhouses (15%). Castles (11.7%), villages (10%), luxury hotels (7.5%), resorts (5%) and others (hotels, restaurants, bathing establishments, private homes) close the ranking.

Expectations for 2024. The sector’s expectations for 2024 are also for further market growth, with an increase estimated at around 9.1%. The main arrivals will still be those from outside the EU, but demand from Scandinavian, German, Swiss, Dutch, Austrian, Spanish and French couples will consolidate.

Italian couples. In 2023, 630 Italian couples from other regions also turned to companies in the supply chain and chose Tuscany for the fateful “yes”, generating a total turnover of 25 million euros. As regards the average number of guests, in 2023 it stood at 89.9, compared to 78.7 in 2022, while the average expense for the organization of the event was close to 40 thousand euros (39,700 euros, +19% compared to to 2022). Overall, arrivals from outside the region were 56,600, while tourist presences were 98,300.

An alliance for a wedding in Tuscany. The positive picture that emerged certifies the success of Tuscany for Weddings, a division of Destination Florence Convention & Visitors Bureau dedicated to promoting the Tuscan territory towards the international wedding market. An alliance that is strengthened today thanks to the signing of a protocol between the two entities, which extends the collaboration no longer only to the wedding sector, but also to MICE (Meeting, Incentive, Conference, Exhibition) in order to create activities that can enrich the entire territory by intercepting quality tourism.

(Francesca Puliti, Destination Florence Convention & Visitors Bureau press office collaborated)