Objectives The paper proposes a comparison among the Italian internal tourism trends at the province level in the period 1997-2007. The main overall goal is the evaluation of the role played by geographical location as a discriminant factor of different patterns and trends of tourist nights spent. Methods and Results Province data derive from the most reliable official statistical source, managed by ISTAT. Even though results have been presented mostly at the geographical area level, the overall average trends have been compared with the mean of single province trends. Moreover, the heterogeneity of province data has been measured through descriptive indexes related to variance, concentration and specialisation. Analysis of variance and shift-share analysis have been applied for assessing the discriminant power of territorial location on observed trends. Conclusions Some of the main outcomes are: a) in the South, on average provinces present largest positive changes, highest concentration levels and more heterogeneous individual trends of nights spent than the rest of Italy; b) in the South, internal tourism is characterised mostly by Italians and by the recourse to hotels (rather than to other kinds of accommodation); c) the geographical dimension is one of the most relevant factor explaining province variability of nights spent.
Keywords: Competitiveness, nights spent, territory, tourism
Jel Code: C51, L83, R120