Life & Leisure

Italy’s Covid-hit tourism industry pleads for government aid

Rome, Dec 27 (EFE).- The Italian tourism industry on Monday pleaded for government aid to help ease the impacts of the latest coronavirus restrictions, which led to a raft of cancelations over the Christmas weekend.

Confcommercio, Italy’s largest business association, said in a report that there was a decline of 60 million tourist arrivals and 120 million overnight stays in 2021, compared to 2019.

Of the 25 million trips scheduled by Italians during the holiday season, five million were canceled and 5.3 million others were shortened.

In addition, Italian authorities have announced that restaurants, as well as nightclubs, are to remain closed until January 31 to slow the spread of the highly contagious Omicron variant of coronavirus.

According to a report conducted by SwG strategy consulting and advisory firm, six out of 10 surveyed have spent two days away from home on Christmas, while only 5% managed to travel abroad.

Confcommercio believes that the government must support the tourism sector through financial interventions and facilitated access to credit.

The business association’s chief, Carlo Sangalli, said the resources provided by the government so far are not sufficient and demanded a wage compensation fund be extended.

“It is unthinkable that the Italian economy does not count the fundamental driving force of tourism,” he said.

Tourism accounts for around 13% of Italy’s GDP. EFE


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