The Città Metropolitana di Firenze has released its tourism findings for the first three months of 2019, revealing a surprising drop—albeit slight—in the number of overnight visitors to the wider Florence area. Overall, the number fell from 979,562 to 946,911 visitors compared to the first trimester of 2018, with a total of 32,651 fewer tourists, though the average length of stay remained at around roughly three nights.
Interestingly, visitor numbers were up for Italian nationals, which recorded a 1.5 percent increase, or 5,985 tourists, while the average length of stay continued to hover at around three nights. Amongst foreign tourists, visitors coming from the United States remained the most frequent group, jumping by nearly 4,500 compared with the first three months of 2018. The number of Americans staying in the city far exceeded the next nationality, Chinese, registering about 18,100 more tourists, a leap in relation to 2018, when both American and Chinese nationals were almost equal in number (a difference of only 348).
It is interesting note how the average number of stays, whilst remaining nonetheless at around three nights, has risen slightly over the last five years: the first three months of 2019 registered 2.9 nights, whilst the same period in 2014 hovered at around 2.5 nights. All told, however, this is still a relatively short period of time for a visit to the Renaissance city, and these figures highlight the deep-seated trend of fast tourism, especially in places such as Florence, home to a wealth of artistic and historic treasures.