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Italy 'overtakes France in tourism stakes'

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By Daniel Bellamy
Italy 'overtakes France in tourism stakes'

Italy had more overnight stays by foreign nationals than tourist hotspot France, it's been claimed.

The country's government tourist board said there were 216.5 million such stays in 2018 in Italy, compared with 140.7m in France. 

Spain, it added, was highest in Europe with 301 million.

It said foreigners spent €41.7 billion in Italy last year, boosting the Italian economy and gross domestic product by 1.5%.

Foreign tourism overall in Italy increased by 2.8% compared to 2017, making up 13% of Italy’s GDP.

Standing next to Rome's famous Trevi fountain, one American tourist visiting with his partner summed up the attraction:

"Everyone I know has either come here or is planning to come here. Yes, so either the views or the food, with me personally the food. Her, she loves museums and churches."

Tourism is expected to grow even further as the Chinese market continues to expand.