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Pope Francis sparks Rome travel boom from native Argentina

Hotel searches up 37%, but pontiff says give money to poor

15 March, 16:18
Pope Francis sparks Rome travel boom from native Argentina (ANSA) - Rome, March 15 - The number of Argentines looking for hotels in Rome has shot up by 37% since Buenos Aires Archbishop Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elevated to the papacy on Wednesday, according to Hotels.com. "The election of the new pope is certainly an event that's prompting a lot of the faithful to take a trip to Rome in the coming weeks," said Kate Hopcraft, spokeswoman for the online bookings site. "Specifically we expect Argentinians to be anxious to see up close the first South American pontiff in history, and data from the first two days since his election confirm it". Francis, known for shunning largesse, has asked people planning to visit him to give the money to the poor instead, just as he did in 2001 when he was named a cardinal in Rome.

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