Owing to the recent tourism boom, Italy became one of the most visited destinations in the world by welcoming more than 60 million visitors in 2017. According to Banca d’Italia data presented by the International Centre for Studies on Tourism Economics (Ciset), the incoming visitors to the country spent EUR 39.1 billion last year, almost EUR 3 billion more than in 2016.Ciset calculates that the international tourists added EUR 41.3 billion to the Italian economy, equivalent to boosting the GDP by 1.5%. Rome is already Italy’s biggest destination, was the chief beneficiary of the boom, tourists spent EUR 6.74 billion in Rome in 2017 which is 20.3% higher from 2016. Italy’s northern tourist hotspot, Venice, registered a 19.4% increase in spending, while Naples, gateway to many of the attractions of the south, saw a rise of 17.8%.Speaking on the achievement, Francesco Palumbo, National Director of Tourism, Italy’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism asserted, “One of the government’s priorities is to promote smaller destinations and authentic craftsmanship, gastronomy and wine tourism as a way of evening out visitor numbers and revenues throughout the year. We don’t need to attract more tourists but we have to orientate ourselves towards quality tourism adapted to what Italy has to offer.” On an average, Ciset confirmed, foreign tourists spent EUR 100 per head for each of the 6.3 days that they stayed, making each visitor worth around EUR 629 to Italy. Germans were the most valuable visitors, making up nearly 17% of Italy’s total tourist revenues. Their spending increased by 14.7% in 2017, compared to a 6.9% boost for French tourists and a 4.5% increase for Brits.Italy’s cultural attractions were the main money-makers, bringing in EUR 15.5 billion, followed by beaches with EUR 5.5 billion. Some of the fastest growing sectors, meanwhile, were ecotourism, food and wine tours and adventure travel.
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