Italy's capital sees major return of foreign tourists.
Rome is thronged with tourists this summer, with the capital set to return to pre-covid levels in 2023, according to Alessandro Onorato, the city's councillor for tourism, major events, fashion and sport.
"Culture has always been the asset on which Rome has made its fortune" - Onorato told Italian news agency AGI - "We are enhancing the city's extraordinary archaeological and monumental heritage but we want to combine it with the potential of large-scale events in iconic places in Rome."
The goal is to put forward "a more modern and attractive image of the capital", said Onorato, who underlined recent events that received international media coverage, such as the Valentino fashion show on the Spanish Steps.
Onorato said that Rome's tourism is recovering rapidly despite the fallout from the covid pandemic and the war in Ukraine, however it is "not yet at the levels of 2019".
The councillor stressed that the absence of tourists from Russia and Asia was offset by a "very full programme of major events" between April and July, adding that the city is "optimistic and confident" of a return to pre-covid tourism levels next year.
"Rome has a wealth that is unique in the world" - Onorato said - "The time has come to make it better known and exploit it fully".
Separately, the absence of "coveted" high-spending Russian tourists has resulted in losses for the capital's luxury tourism and shopping sectors, Roberto Necci, president of the Rome branch of hotel association Federalberghi, told Italian news agency ANSA.
Earlier this week a new report by retailer association Comfcommercio showed that Italy is seeing a surge in foreign tourists who are set to generate €17 billion this summer, with US tourists leading the recovery.
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