home  › Business and economy

Easter bookings for Italy up 28% this year

by Francesco Prisco

Bookings in Italy are up 28% for the 2017 Easter period compared to last year, as tourists are viewing the country as a safe destination with a relatively low risk of terrorism, figures from online travel company eDreams Odigeo showed.

EDreams, which offers flights, hotels, train tickets and car hires to clients in 33 countries around the world, said the growth trend seen in Italy in the previous two years was continuing in a notable way. The 28% rise in bookings in Italy beats an increase of 7% for overall global bookings through the eDreams portal for the same period compared to 2016.

Italy is the second most popular international destination, after Spain and in front of France, Britain, Portugal, Germany, the United States, Morocco, the Netherlands and Turkey.

Then Rome is in ninth position, in front of Palermo (10th) and Naples (13th).

In terms of incoming business from abroad, the most popular Italian destination among foreign tourists is Rome, ahead of Milan, Venice, Naples, Palermo, Catania, Pisa, Florence, Bologna and Bari.

Foreign tourists make up a smaller share of the total in Italy compared to Spain, but a bigger share than in France. Who comes to Italy for Easter? According to eDreams, French people lead the way, followed by Germans, Spanish, British and Belgian people.

The average stays chosen by tourists from different European countries are also interesting. Italians choose a short holiday: 34% booked for three nights, 18% for four nights and 11.7% for two nights.

“Italy has confirmed itself once again among the top destinations for international tourism. The Easter period is registering better results than last year,” said Alexandra Koukoulian, country manager Italy for eDreams. “A month before the festivities, the trend is very positive for general bookings. The incoming of foreign travelers is also positive, whose share remains stable among the top three in Europe, straight after Spain and before France.”

Koukoulian said Milan, Rome and Venice remain the preferred cities in Italy, but “this year we note trade in Palermo, which has moved up from ninth to fifth position in the rankings of Italian cities preferred by European travelers and is even doing better than Seville, a city which is similar for popular and cultural traditions, and known for its capacity to attract religious tourism, especially in the Easter period with the events linked to Semana Santa.”

This year Italians are also favoring a trip beyond national borders. The preferred destinations remain London, Amsterdam, Paris and Barcelona, Koukoulian said.

The overall dynamics are confirmed by the travel search engine Skyscanner which sees Italy and Spain at the top of the rankings of countries chosen for the Easter break this year, followed by the US in third place.