Setting the record straight on visiting Europe…
By Rosario Mariani, http://www.europebychoice.com
As we begin to approach the end of 2015, the top 3 tourist destinations in Europe are:
Visitors from all over the world From the USA
France 84 Million 2.4 Million
Britain 35 Million 2.3 Million
Italy 50 Million 2.6 Million
France always claims the spot of number one tourist destination by counting their in-transit visitors twice. For example, when the Germans, Austrians and Swiss travel by car in the summer to their favorite Spanish destination, they go through France at the start of their vacation and again at the end of their stay. These tourists spend less than a day in France and probably have a lunch and make several stops to gas-up their cars, yet they are counted as visitors twice.
On a global scale, Paris and London airports are huge hubs and millions of visitors from all over the world go in and out of the Charles de Gaulle and Heathrow airports. The majority of passengers travel beyond France and Britain to other European, African, Middle East and Far East destinations. Again, these passengers are counted twice for the record – when they arrive and connect as well as on their return trip. This explains the large number of world visitors.
On the other hand, the majority of tourists arriving in Rome remain in Italy, and only a very small number of passengers continue to other destinations beyond Italy. Fiumicino Airport is definitely not a huge hub, and caters more to tourism than business. This is evident when we see the number of passengers coming from the USA. Most interesting is that the average visitor spends 3 days in Britain and in France, but in Italy the average stay is almost a week-long. Then again, Italy has so much more to offer!
Rosario Mariani is the owner/CEO of Europe By Choice, which promotes travel to Italy and other select European countries. He has more than 40 years of experience in the travel industry, previously serving as Director of Italy Product for Italiatour and Club ABC Tours, and also in other positions with EuroFly, Alitalia and Air France.