Italian tourism accelerates for the holidays, thanks in part to the return of foreign travelers. A week before Christmas, accommodation businesses’ forecasts on tourist flows are positive: between Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Epiphany, 13.8 million presences in official facilities are expected, +8.1% compared to 2021.

This growth is driven by the increase in foreign presences (+19.5 percent), which in some art cities have returned to 2019 levels. Estimating this for Assoturismo Confesercenti is the Tourism Study Center of Florence, based on a survey of a sample of 1,334 accommodation entrepreneurs.

This is good news for the sector, which, after a good summer, went through an autumn not without difficulties and conditioned by the high cost of energy: some businesses were forced to anticipate seasonal closures or suspend operations during low season periods due to rising operating costs.

On the tourist markets, however, there is no shortage of desire to leave, and for the upcoming holidays businesses are reporting an increase in bookings, especially of foreigners, although inflation and the uncertainties of the economic phase will affect the length of stays and the spending capacity of tourists.

Italian demand remains the majority: overall, 8.6 million presences of our fellow citizens, 62.3 percent of the total, are expected in facilities, up +2.2 percent from last year. But the highest increase is marked by foreign visitors: Flows from abroad are estimated to grow by +19.5 percent for these holidays, totaling more than 5.2 million presences. Increasing especially are the German and French, but also the Swiss, British, Dutch and Belgians.

Among non-European markets, on the other hand, the most significant reports of increase are for the U.S. market, with a large return of U.S. tourists especially in art cities. Some first signs of recovery also for the markets of Canada, Brazil and China.

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