Survey: International Travelers in Rome Say Eternal City Is #1 in Italy & Europe

Survey: International Travelers in Rome Say Eternal City Is #1 in Italy & Europe

Not just news, info and tips. We hope this blog can also become a platform for discussion and analysis on tourism in Rome and surroundings. That’s why we would like to express our ideas on the most recent survey carried out in Rome on the experience of international tourists here.

We’ve also been running a short survey to know who our readers are that we invite you to fill so that we will get to know you more and adjust the content and the style of our posts to your interests and needs.

We don’t want to sum up this survey carried out in the spring of 2012 by Eures. We’ll just highlight a few interesting findings.

The first is that international travelers stay in Rome 4.5 days on average, which is a hefty 50% higher than previous official data showed.

International tourists spend more money for art/culture visits than for shopping even if they only pay the admission ticket for 3.4 sights on average. The free landmarks (such as Trevi fountain, Spanish steps, Navona square etcc…) hit by a tourist in Rome are twice as many: 6.7. And the total cost of fees for museums and monuments is an issue for them, which means that the RomaPass is not working well.

More than half of the surveyed people booked online their accommodation and air-train ticket and in choosing an accommodation a wireless connection was a more important factor than the advice of their friends/relatives, which shows how tourism and the internet are more and more tied.

43% of first time visitors to Rome find the city better than expected with only 4% saying it was worse than anticipated. Despite the focus of most of the Rome English-speaking blogging community, food has a very marginal role in the experience of international tourists here. Only 10% of them say it’s the best side of their Roman holidays, compared to around 80% who name art/culture.

The survey confirmed something we already knew: that very few people (one out of six) venture out of Rome to enjoy the beaches, the mountains, the archeological ruins, the food, the countryside, the parks and the abbeys of Rome’s region – Lazio. Too bad! Find inspiration here.

We were also sure that Rome was their favorite city in Italy, far above Venice and Florence. What we didn’t know is that Rome is also preferred to Berlin, London, Paris and the likes. The reason? Well the incredible heritage we’ve got.

It’s also nice to know that ¾ of them will come back to Rome.

But how can Rome improve? First of all providing better travel information according to a quarter of the surveyed people and this is why we are here! Second: with cleaner streets. Third: with lower prices and that’s why we always highlight free events.

Compared to other 10 European capitals Rome is also considered safe but there are too many illegal street vendors. It’s below the European average in terms of entertainment (bars, pubs, dance clubs, sport facilities, theme parks) and public transport.

Overall a very good performance but we should still strive to improve because there are wide margins to increase the numbers of visitors to Rome (still half London’s tally). The key points will be more accurate travel info and better integration with the other landmarks of Lazio.


A few more data: June the overall number of tourists in Rome (both Italian and foreigners) posted a 6% year-on-year jump, with a 4.7% gain in overnight stays. Despite the unprecedented world economic crisis, the first half of 2012 saw a 5% increase of visitors in the Eternal city.  Brasil posted a 26% rise from last year, followed by other emerging countries like China (+25%) and Russia (+23%).