Travel to Italy is booming : Travel Weekly

If there’s one thing hotter than the heat wave in Europe this summer, it’s traveling to Italy.

Industry experts say Italy has consistently been among the top destinations for European summer bookings since international travel returned in the spring, and travel demand has soared to levels not seen since the start of the pandemic.

“Summer 2022 bookings for Italy have been in extremely high demand with about 75% of my bookings since April for Italy,” said Melinda Fortunato, owner of Best Travel in Fairfax, Va.

Italy’s tourism figures are on track to recover this year, with international arrivals from Canada, Australia, England and Spain returning to 2019 levels, according to Confcommercio, an Italian organization that represents businesses. tourist.

But it is the Americans who, according to the organization, are the number one market driving the recovery of tourism in Italy.

A recent survey by Confcommercio revealed that around 2.2 million Americans are expected to visit Italy by the end of the summer and are expected to spend 2.1 billion euros between July and September, an increase of 20% compared to 2019.

“Honeymoons, anniversaries and postponed trips from 2020 are the most reasons to travel to Italy,” Fortunato said of his customers, adding that last-minute bookings have increased in recent months. “People book two months instead of six to nine months.”

The Amalfi Coast has been the most requested destination for Fortunato bookings in Italy this year, followed by Tuscany, Rome, Florence and Venice.

“A few customers who have been to Italy before want Cinque Terre or Lake Como,” she said, adding that most of her travelers visit two to three destinations during their visit and make good use of rail services. between destinations.

“We’re doing tons of pre- and post-river cruise trips this year,” said Frank Marini, CEO of Railbookers Group, a rail travel and vacation organizer specializing in customizable FIT itineraries.

Marini said Switzerland is a popular starting point for travelers wanting to take a pre- or post-cruise rail extension tour of Italy, as a number of river cruises start or end on the Rhine in Basel.

Railbookers offers routes to Italy’s most popular destinations – including Lake Como, the Cinque Terre, Naples and the Amalfi Coast – on trips that can start in Basel, Geneva or Zurich after a river cruise.

Toni Lanotte-Day, owner of Toni Tours in Levittown, Pennsylvania, has also seen this market grow: She has a group of 20 post-cruise Emerald Azzurra people visiting Venice and Bologna this summer in Italy. She is also taking a group of 18 to Naples and Sicily in October, a trip rescheduled from 2020.

Pietro Radiocovich, a tour guide who works for Lake Como for you, said tourism to the area has “really increased over the past 10 years, mainly from the US and Britain, in particularly after Covid, where we are currently experiencing a big explosion in tourism.”

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