Italy relies on tourists and locals enjoy American efforts at speaking Italian

MILAN – Americans are notoriously loud. Consequently, so are BYU students. With that mix of patriotism and an absurd amount of school pride, it makes sense that people might respond negatively, especially those from other countries.

BYU Global Diplomacy and Journalism study abroad students eat at an Italian Pizzaria, using their small knowledge of Italian to make their orders. (Cory Leonard)

On BYU’s Global Diplomacy and Journalism study abroad, that theory was tested. Students are spent the summer meeting with diplomats, foreign correspondents, journalists and more in New York City, Italy, France and London. 

English is not the primary language in Italy and France, so while the students were trying their best to communicate with those around them, they were limited. However, their efforts were appreciated nonetheless.

“We know they are trying,” Mattia Calvario, a chef and Italian native said. “We can understand through their terrible accents but the effort is nice to see.”

Calvario recognizes that tourism is important for Italy’s economy, and because of that sees no reason to complain.

“We’ve always had tourists and we are always going to. Americans make up a lot of those tourists so I see no reason to complain about them – might as well find a little bit of joy in it right? It can be funny when they mess up, too,” Calvario said. 

According to the OECD Country Profiles – Italy, tourism does contribute significantly to the Italian economy. In fact, tourism accounts for an overall “11.8% of national GDP and 12.8% of total national employment in 2015.”

Also according to OECD, tourists and the duration of those tourists’ stay has been on an incline since 2016. There was a decrease in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but has recently began its incline once again. 

“The coronavirus pandemic temporarily halted the growth of tourism, a sector that was experiencing a real boom in recent years,” said Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes by Emerald Publishing Limited.

Categories: Europe Travel, Study Abroad Themes

%d bloggers like this: