Over 15 million Italians to travel for end-of-year holidays

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At least 15.3 million Italians plan to travel for the end-of-year holidays, up 7.7 percent compared to 2016, Italian hotel and tourism association Federalberghi revealed on Saturday.

Christmas and New Year’s travel will post turnover of 9.9 billion euros, up 13.3 percent over last year, the business group reported.

Calling this upward trend “a luminous streak”, Federalberghi president Bernabo Bocca said “the germ of the economic recovery lies in tourism and its continuing good performance”.

At least 84 percent of holiday travelers plan to visit locations in Italy, staying away from home an average of 3.9 nights.

The average expenditure per person will be 684 euros at Christmas and 603 euros at New Year’s, Federalberghi found.

A majority of holiday travelers plan to visit another Italian city (32 percent), followed by mountain locations (25.9 percent) and artistic sites (22.9 percent). The rest are visiting the seaside, a lake, or a thermal bath resort, while the 16 percent who are going abroad plan to visit other European capitals.

The Federalberghi report was based on research by ACS Marketing Solutions and interviews with over 3,000 people conducted December 1-6.

As well, Confcommercio business association has reported that Italians will spend an average of 166 euros per capita on Christmas presents this year, up slightly from 164 euros in 2016.

The lion’s share of presents will come in the form of food (73.5 percent), followed by toys (48.7 percent), clothes (47.1 percent) and books (43.5 percent).

Confcommercio added that smart phones, jewelry, and travel are on the rise as gift items.

And 47.8 percent of consumers shop for their Christmas presents online — up from 28.3 percent in 2012 and 3.8 percent in 2009.

Confcommercio represents over 700,000 Italian businesses with almost 2.7 million employees, according to its website.

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