Tourism in Italian cities - statistics & facts

Fifth country in the world, and third in Europe, in terms of worldwide international tourist arrivals, Italy attracts millions of tourists every year thanks to its fascinating culture, natural landscapes, artistic sites, and renowned cuisine. When looking at the most popular destinations, Rome, Venice, Milan, and Florence were the leading municipalities in Italy by number of overnight stays as of 2019, with Rome having over double the amount of the overnight stays compared to other leading municipalities. Overall, there has been a steady increase in the number of international tourist arrivals in Italy over the last five years, with arrivals in 2019 reaching a high of nearly 100 million tourists. However, this growth stopped in 2020 with the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, during which the number of international tourist arrivals in Italy fell dramatically to under 40 million.

International and domestic tourism in Italian cities

The Italian capital has long been one of the most popular destinations for tourists in Italy. Rome is especially popular among American tourists, who made up the highest number of arrivals in the city’s hotel facilities in 2019. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, visitors from the United Kingdom reported the highest figure. The city is not only popular with international tourists, as Rome’s hotels recorded nearly three million arrivals of Italian visitors in 2019, though domestic arrivals more than halved the following year during COVID-19.

As the number of travelers in Rome decreased sharply in 2020 over the previous year, also Venice and Florence were impacted heavily by the pandemic. When considering international tourism in La Serenissima, as the city is nicknamed, Venice suffered a drop in international tourist arrivals of over 80 percent in 2020 compared to the previous year. With the implementation of a nationwide lockdown by the Italian government in March 2020, tourism in Italy was severely constrained. The number of international arrivals to tourist accommodations in Florence plummeted in April that year, but began to increase as lockdown measures were gradually eased in May.

Travel accommodation in Italian cities

Looking at hotel facilities, although Rome is one of the most attractive destinations in Italy for international and domestic travelers, it was not the most expensive Italian city to book an overnight stay in a four-star hotel in 2020. Turin held this record, followed by Venice and Milan, each reporting an average price per night of nearly 100 euros. That being said, Rome had by far the highest number of chain hotels in Italy in that same year.

In terms of non-hotel facilities, Venice was home to over 35 thousand non-hotel accommodations in 2020, down from a peak of nearly 41 thousand in 2018. Meanwhile, the most common non-hotel accommodations in Florence included rented holiday dwellings and farmhouses in 2020. There were also a few less common alternatives, such as youth hostels, camp sites, and mountain huts for tourists who prefer not to stay in hotels.

Key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Tourism in Italian cities" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.

Domestic tourism

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Interesting statistics

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Tourism in Italian cities

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Tourism in Italian cities - statistics & facts

Fifth country in the world, and third in Europe, in terms of worldwide international tourist arrivals, Italy attracts millions of tourists every year thanks to its fascinating culture, natural landscapes, artistic sites, and renowned cuisine. When looking at the most popular destinations, Rome, Venice, Milan, and Florence were the leading municipalities in Italy by number of overnight stays as of 2019, with Rome having over double the amount of the overnight stays compared to other leading municipalities. Overall, there has been a steady increase in the number of international tourist arrivals in Italy over the last five years, with arrivals in 2019 reaching a high of nearly 100 million tourists. However, this growth stopped in 2020 with the onset of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, during which the number of international tourist arrivals in Italy fell dramatically to under 40 million.

International and domestic tourism in Italian cities

The Italian capital has long been one of the most popular destinations for tourists in Italy. Rome is especially popular among American tourists, who made up the highest number of arrivals in the city’s hotel facilities in 2019. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, visitors from the United Kingdom reported the highest figure. The city is not only popular with international tourists, as Rome’s hotels recorded nearly three million arrivals of Italian visitors in 2019, though domestic arrivals more than halved the following year during COVID-19.

As the number of travelers in Rome decreased sharply in 2020 over the previous year, also Venice and Florence were impacted heavily by the pandemic. When considering international tourism in La Serenissima, as the city is nicknamed, Venice suffered a drop in international tourist arrivals of over 80 percent in 2020 compared to the previous year. With the implementation of a nationwide lockdown by the Italian government in March 2020, tourism in Italy was severely constrained. The number of international arrivals to tourist accommodations in Florence plummeted in April that year, but began to increase as lockdown measures were gradually eased in May.

Travel accommodation in Italian cities

Looking at hotel facilities, although Rome is one of the most attractive destinations in Italy for international and domestic travelers, it was not the most expensive Italian city to book an overnight stay in a four-star hotel in 2020. Turin held this record, followed by Venice and Milan, each reporting an average price per night of nearly 100 euros. That being said, Rome had by far the highest number of chain hotels in Italy in that same year.

In terms of non-hotel facilities, Venice was home to over 35 thousand non-hotel accommodations in 2020, down from a peak of nearly 41 thousand in 2018. Meanwhile, the most common non-hotel accommodations in Florence included rented holiday dwellings and farmhouses in 2020. There were also a few less common alternatives, such as youth hostels, camp sites, and mountain huts for tourists who prefer not to stay in hotels.

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