Study: Italy’s ‘beauty economy’ worth billions


We all know beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But according to a recent study by the Italia Land of Beauty Foundation it can also be deposited in the bank.

Produced in collaboration with think tank Prometei, the study found that the “beauty economy” in Italy is worth about €240 billion, some 16.5 percent of the country’s GDP. It defines the sector as businesses associated with consumer goods, inventive technologies, creativity and tourism.

“This study for the first time transforms beauty into a concrete and measurable dimension, values its strength and defines it as a new economic category that can significantly contribute to the country’s GDP,” Maurizio di Robilant, president of the foundation, told Italy’s Il Sole 24 Ore business newspaper.
Italian news about beauty economy
Italy already has one of the strongest tourism economies in the world, but revenues could be increased by €20 billion yearly, said the report (graphic: Agenzia Nazionale del Turismo).

Italian consumer goods including fashion, food, and home and interior design are worth €44 billion annually, said the report. It defines inventive technologies as electronics, machinery and means of transport, which produce sales of €32 billion. The creative industry including design, publishing, museums and shows generates €61 billion a year, said the report. The tourism sector has revenues totaling €39 billion.

Using the data, study projected theoretical growth in the “beauty economy” if patterns of investment and development used by other countries were followed.

In a projected scenario of strong cooperation – if all developments in the sector align with the best Italian firms – an additional €52 billion would be generated. An even more ambitious scenario, in which all Italian firms in the various sectors achieved the performance of the best firms in Europe, would result in an additional €130 billion in revenues.

The study cited France as an example for better e-commerce and the spread of brand culture. Other development models in the study included Germany’s experience in technological goods and Britain’s in the creative industry.

Tourism could be improved by €20 billion through better promotion of Italy’s hidden beauty by developing tourism routes to lesser-known destinations and strengthening the country’s brand through storytelling and appealing events that embrace the country’s historic and natural heritage, said the report.

“Improved education, brand culture and more technology – these are the cornerstones revealed by the research,” said Alessandra Lanza, partner at Prometeia. “Based on these elements, the beauty of our country can truly transform from a historic heritage to an engine for the future.”