Rome reservation boom since pope steps down: Expedia

20th February 2013, Comments 0 comments

Expedia said on Tuesday it had seen a boom in air ticket reservations to Rome by French, German and Italians following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI.

The online air travel and hotel reservation website said that reservations had begun rising within 24 hours after the German-born Benedict announced on February 11 that he would step down.

The number of trips to Rome booked on Expedia's French website has increased by 26 percent, by 60 percent on its German website and more than doubled on its Italian website, said in a statement.

Benedict, 85, is to make his farewell to the world's 1.2 billion Catholics at a final public audience in St Peter's Square on February 27.

He will become only the second pope voluntarily to resign when he formally steps down on February 28.

© 2013 AFP

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