There are no specific numbers for Californians traveling to Sicily, as the numbers are gathered at the national level rather than the state levels. Europe in particular is challenging, within the Schengen Zone, because a tourist can fly into one country and visit many others, without passing through any customs controls that would record the visit. Even if there were such controls, a U.S. passport issued in California would not automatically mean that the person holding it was from California. And, of course, the issue is further complicated by the lack of direct links between California and Sicily.
A logical starting point would be to analyze figures on any direct routes. From Rome's Fiumicino Airport there are direct flights to five American cities; from Milan only two. There are no direct flights between California and Italy, and none between the U.S. And Sicily, so it is very difficult to get a read on how many people have traveled between California and Sicily without some inference.
The first data set of relevance is the number of Americans who have traveled to Italy. The National Travel and Tourism Office estimates that 1.949 million Americans visited Italy in 2012 and 1.807 visited in 2013. Californians...
The paucity of direct connections between California and Europe does not seem to discourage many travelers. These numbers imply that roughly 285,000 Californians visit Italy every year.
The next step is to drill down to a number of total visitors to Italy that visit Sicily specifically. Sicily is a popular tourist destination among Italians, and among people who know a thing or two about gastronomy, but Sicily is a little further off the radar for most Americans. Foreigners as a group are only about 40% of the total share of the Sicilian tourism market (ISTAT, 2008). Cities like Venice, Florence and Rome attract most of the attention, with Venice and Rome in particular gaining thousands of American visitors each year for their cruise ship ports alone.
Sicily attracts around 4 million tourists per year, while Italy as a whole attracts 46.36 million. This implies that Sicily attracts around 8.6% of total visitors to Italy. Visitors may, of course, visit other provinces and in the case of Americans will at least need to change their planes somewhere else. This market share implies that Sicily should attract 8.6% of the Californians who visit Italy every year, or 24,590 Californians.
There are many assumptions built into this figure. The first is that Americans will visit Sicily in…
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