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IN NUMBERS: How important are American tourists to Italy?
As US citizens wait to find out when they'll be allowed to travel to Italy again, we look at just how important American tourism is to Italy and its economy.
Published: 24 June 2020 10:40 CEST Updated: 8 July 2020 14:54 CEST
The Amalfi Coast is one of Italy's most popular destinations for American visitors. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP
Italy was the first European country to allow tourism (and all types of non-essential travel) from within Europe to restart from June 3rd. But other visitors, including from the US, are still barred from entering the country for all but the most urgent reasons.
No date has yet been confirmed for travel to restart from the US.
With Italy's tourism sector now in crisis due to the shutdown, travel businesses are of course keen for non-EU visitors to return as soon as possible. But if Americans are unable to visit this summer, their absence will be felt profoundly.
Here are a few statistics which show just how important US tourists are to Italy.
The number of Americans who visited Italy in 2019 according to Italian government figures. The US is second only to Germany (with 12.1 million) when it comes to the number of tourists coming to Italy annually.
Visitors from the US make up around three percent of all tourists coming to Italy. Most of Italy's tourists (14.1 percent) come from Germany, figures show. Around another three percent come from the UK.
International tourism in Italy is worth an estimated 42 billion euros in total, reports Italian financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore. Some 2.8 billion of this revenue comes from US tourists alone.
Rome is the most popular city
Some 9.4 percent of international visitors to Italy head for Rome, making it the most popular Italian destination, followed by Milan and Venice.
Here's how much tourism Italy can expect to get this year
The number of American tourists who visited Milan in 2018 – a large year-on-year increase of 9.3 percent, reports the local Chamber of Commerce. China was the only country with more tourism, with 393,000 Chinese nationals visiting Milan in the same year.
The average amount of time American visitors spend in Italy, according to a study published in Il Sole 24 Ore.
The number of US travellers who visited Italy for leisure purposes in 2018, with the remaining 15 percent visiting for work.
The percentage of all US tourists who choose a vacation in Europe. Among them, Italy is the second-most preferred destination after France.
July is the most popular month
In Italy, most US tourists arrive in July, when there are 75 percent more arrivals than in February. March and December are also big months for US travelers.
First choice for wealthy travelers
Among the wealthiest US travelers, Italy is reportedly the most popular European country for “affluent empty nesters” – the wealthy US adults free from family ties. It's the second-most popular destination among the most affluent American families, the same study found.