Milan has more visitors than Rome

Milan welcomes record number for third successive year.

The year 2016 is already shaping up to see Milan attract more visitors – business people and tourists – than Italy’s capital city for the third year running.

Hotel room occupation statistics show Milan attracting almost 8 million this year, up from last year’s 7.5 million and placing Milan at 14th place worldwide and beaten in Europe only by London and Paris.

The figures were provided by MasterCard’s Global Destination Cities Index, and announced by mayor Giuseppe Sala to the congress of Assolombarda, the Lombardy industrialists’ association.

Rome this year is set to rank two steps behind Milan at 16th place worldwide, with annual growth in hotel bookings there down to 1 per cent after the increase of 5 per cent in recent years. This is despite the hopes placed in Pope Francis’s Holy Jubilee Year of Mercy, which for the capital’s hoteliers turned out a disappointment. Although the event attracted some 18 million pilgrims, hoteliers point out that they typically stayed only 24 hours and often found accommodation in other lodgings such as convents or apartments.

Maurizio Nero, president of the Milan province hoteliers’ association, told the congress the success was at least partially due to the “long wave” of last year’s Expo Milano 2015. “The event brought Milan into focus for tourists,” he stated.

Nero revealed that Milan was a leisure destination for most foreign visitors, but a business destination for the typical Italian traveller.