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Italy Misses The "Laughter And Infectious Curiosity" Of American Tourists This Summer
Traveling to Italy has become a summer vacation hot spot for Americans. From taking a ride on the gondolas to strolling with a gelato in hand, Italy is absolutely alluring. In fact, six million American travelers choose this European country as their vacation spot each year, according to the Italian government’s statistics bureau.
Unfortunately, this year is a lot different for us all. If you’re anything like me, your summer travel plans to Italy have been canceled indefinitely.
Italy was hit hard by COVID-19 and the country is slowly making its way out of the emergency phase. International borders are closed with the exception of a select amount of countries being added to a safe list for essential travel.
With the borders being closed, comes a struggle in the tourism industry, with the loss of millions of US tourists this year. According to Italian press outlets, American travelers brought in almost €3 billion to Italy last year.
In Rome, Italy’s most popular city for tourism, hotels have been losing about $115 million per month, as 90% of properties remain closed.
“The majority of our clients are from the USA and the continuing ban has serious repercussions for us. Americans spend big in Rome and we don’t take this for granted. But mostly we miss their laughter and infectious curiosity for our country,” says Natalino Gisonna, the Vice President of Rome’s tourism branch of the national small-medium business confederation (CNA).
Alberto Moncada di Paternò, the owner of Rome Luxury Suites, tells CNN Travel, “We are feeling their [American travelers] absence but we know they will be back in the future because their thirst for Rome cannot be quenched. When they do return, we will readily and safely welcome them with open arms.”
Senio Venturi, owner of Michelin star Ristorante L’Asinello says “American clients are always a pleasure for us because they are so positive and friendly. But importantly, they are loyal. They dine with us more than once during their stay, return annual and refer friends and family too.”
So while we may not be able to travel to Italy this summer, it’s nice to know Americans are missed for our curiosity and love of Italian food and culture.