Rome’s merchants report no boost from Jubilee Year
November 21, 2016
The Jubilee Year of Mercy did not produce the expected boom for the hospitality industry in the city of Rome.
Although Vatican officials say that the Jubilee drew more than 21 million pilgrims to Rome (see today’s separate CWN headline story), local merchants report that they did not notice any substantial increase in patronage. “We were expecting much more than this,” said that owner of a restaurant neart St. Peter’s Square. “We did even worse than last year.”
Some Roman merchants said that concerns about safety, fueled by terrorist attacks in Paris, had held down the number of visitors. Others appeared skeptical of the Vatican’s statistics, suggesting that the number of pilgrims was well below the official figures. If 21 million people came to Rome, one restaurant owner wondered, “Where did they hide?”
Giuseppe Roscioli, the head of a Roman federation for hotel and restaurant owners, agreed. “It is as if there hadn’t been a Jubilee,” he said. “I don’t think anybody realized there was one.”
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