The challenges of a mature tourism sector in Ticino

Melide (photo: Joachim Kohler Bremen, Wikimedia Commons)
Melide (photo: Joachim Kohler Bremen, Wikimedia Commons)

Institutional Communication Service

13 September 2018

The financial and economic crisis of 2008 showed thatTicino, as a tourist destination, is at a competitive disadvantage when compared to other less expensive destinations, namely Italy. Moreover, the tourism sector in the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland is going through a process of structural transition, from tradition to innovation, typical of mature realities. In order to reverse the longstanding negative trend and to consolidate the promising rebound registered over the past two years, Ticino will have to focus more on the quality and variety of its offerings and on affluent clients, implementing seasonal adjustment strategies, showing itself to be more reactive to opportunities, and increasing in particular its attention and understanding of distant markets and new tourist behaviour. The context in which the tourism sector operates today is increasingly 'social' and global. This means that, on the one hand, there are opportunities for new market niches and, on the other hand, there is a constant increase in competition and greater exposure to macro-economic factors (growth, exchange rates) and socio-communicative factors (viral phenomena via social media) that can vary very rapidly and reach unusual dimensions, for the better or for the worse.

This sums up the framework outlined by the latest Destination Report published by the USI Tourism Observatory, a research unit of the USI Institute for Economic Research (IRE) that, by Cantonal mandate, records and analyses the dynamics of tourism in Ticino in quantitative and qualitative terms.

The Destination Report provides a comprehensive picture of the performance of Ticino, compared to its competitors or similar destinations (Grisons, Lucerne, Valais in Switzerland; Como, Lecco, Varese, Verbano-Cusio-Ossola in Italy), giving private and public actors indications for developing new strategies and enhancing the overall competitiveness of the region.

The 2018 Report (the 7th) is based on data collected in the year 2016, which are the most up-to-date on which comparisons can be made, with references also to 2017 and 2018.


The full Report, which includes also a special section on Expo2015 and references to other O-Tur analysis, is available (in Italian language only) at:

For a full summary of the 2018 report, please refer to the Italian version of this page.