At least in the short-term, heightened interest in travel to Rome could be huge, and that could be propelled by the excitement in Argentina about their fellow countryman being tapped for the papacy.
U.S. tour operators specializing in religious travel expect a jump in demand for travel to the Vatican with the election of the new pope Wednesday.
It’s a given that Catholic faithful would be drawn to the Vatican and other holy sites in and around Rome, but some operators believe Argentina may benefit as well. “With Pope John Paul II, there was an interest in walking in his footsteps in Poland,” where he was born, says Mike Schields of Globus, which operates a religious tours division. “I can see once this pope becomes a little better known, that people of faith will do the same thing with Argentina.”
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