Italy recovers tourism after the pandemic: 274 thousand reservations this Christmas

  • Reserves rise 57.3% compared to the previous year

  • Rome in the lead, is the preferred destination, and exceeds the average with 82.2% more reservations than in 2021

  • Milan and Venice the other two fastest growing destinations

A year ago Italy, and the rest of the world, experienced another spike in infections caused by the COVID Omicron variant that stopped, one more Christmas, the resurgence of tourism after the pandemic. This year, at the foot of 2023, the situation has completely changed. After the most critical era was over and after beginning to live with the virus, The visitor data is getting closer and closer to the historical flow, on these dates, and in general throughout the year, that Italy, one of the most visited countries in the world, usually has. A study by Enit, the State Tourism Agency, with data from Forwardkeysrivela, marks a strong increase in reserves in the period from December 19, 2022 to January 8, 2023, specifically 57.3% compared to the previous year. The numbers speak of 274,000 air reservations during the Christmas period that guarantee a strong stimulus for the sector and that also represent a shuttle for a definitive recovery of tourism that is expected to rise in the coming years, if the current trend.

Rome is positioned at the top of this list among the most visited Italian cities. Is calculated some 122,000 air reservations, marking an 82.2% increase, far exceeding the Italian average percentage, and becoming the most chosen destination for those who fly to the transalpine country this Christmas. The city, which is an especially significant destination on these dates due to its Catholic tradition and the presence of the Vatican, has been welcoming tourists and Romans for weeks with a particularly striking decoration full of lights in the historic center. A decoration and an atmosphere that is especially recognized on these dates also by a survey by Easyjet, an airline company, recently published in the well-known English tabloid Mirror. Among the more than two thousand respondents, Rome was the European capital chosen to spend these dates for its “romantic air and a Christmas full of lights and light shows, religious ceremonies and the outstanding Piazza Navona”.

The famous square with three fountains, the main one in the center, made by Bernini, becomes the setting for a Christmas movie at this time of year. Several stalls form a market and a large carousel overflowing with children and families in the purest retro style completes the picture. There, Romans and tourists mingle in a square that becomes international precisely because of the visitors from all over the world. The nationality with the most reservations for these dates in Italy is the American, which practically doubles compared to 2021 with an increase of 49.8% and occupies 21% of the total visitors projected for these weeks. In second position is Germany with an increase of 22.2% and almost 27 thousand reservations and in third place the United Kingdom with more than 21 thousand. Weeks, moreover, with particularly mild weather in almost the entire country -except for some showers to the north- which has registered atypical temperatures for this time of year above 20 degrees in some parts of southern Italy. Aspect that, without a doubt, attracts tourists even more.

This period thus marks, without a doubt, a strong recovery towards the 2019 data that had left some 425 thousand air reservations. At this time, 36% more visitors would still be needed to speak of a complete recovery of tourism in Italy, but the data from this Christmas and the image in the streets of central Rome undoubtedly offer a message of hope for the future for a sector that, in the transalpine country, accounts for up to 9% of national GDP, according to data ISTAT (Italian National Statistical Institute). Mary is a waitress in one of the restaurants that surround Piazza Navona. She admits to NIUS that she has noticed a considerable increase in visitors, but she does not think that the flow of people can still be compared to pre-pandemic data. At that moment, an American couple sits down at one of the tables in their Dolce Vita and orders two plates of pasta. In the background, the noise of the people is like an out-of-beat but joyful orchestra that fills the streets of the center of the Italian capital as it has not been heard for a long time.

Italy recovers tourism after the pandemic: 274 thousand reservations this Christmas