Matera European Capital of Culture 2019, experienced a boom in tourism the year before it officially took on the name. A survey conducted the tourism and trade section of the CNA small-and-medium-sized enterprises association found that hotels and other lodgings saw total arrivals of ''over 614,000, a 20% increase on 2017'' in 2018. Overnight stays were at 1.86 million, a 5.8% rise. CNA said that ''the contribution of foreign tourists was remarkable, with +22.47% in arrivals and +15.47% in overnight stays''. Even in the year before its term as culture capital, thus, Matera ''benefited from its being assigned the title'', a statement said. In 2018, compared with the previous year, the arrivals of Italian tourists ''marked an increase of almost 19%, while presences rose by 4.64%''.
Some 42% of the foreigners visiting were from the US, over 14,000 with almost 29,000 overnight stays, ''which resulted in the US surpassing France for first place. Belgium arrivals rose by 45% and 35% more Australians visited''. Attracting Italians and foreigners, ''in addition to the beauty of this marvel that was almost unknown until not long ago, is the possibility of engaging in 'experience-based' tourism, a growing phenomenon and soon to be legally recognised after already receiving approval from the Chamber of Deputies'', the statement said. These figures will be among the themes discussed at the 'Matera, Connecting Made in Italy' conference, sponsored by the CNA and to be held on Wednesday morning at 11 AM in Matera.