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Italy’s Tourism Industry Expects Unprecedented Slump

Channels Television  
Updated June 18, 2020
People shop at the outdoor market and walk about in central Rome on May 9, 2020, during the country’s partial lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19 infection, caused by the novel coronavirus. Tiziana FABI / AFP.

 

Italy’s tourism sector is expecting a steep fall in visits this summer and its worst revenue figures in over 20 years, an industry survey found on Thursday.

The country, which welcomed over 60 million foreign tourists in 2018, according to the World Tourism Organization, is now expecting 56 million fewer overnight stays, found the survey from Florence’s Centre for Tourism Studies (CTS).

That translates into a 3.2 billion euro ($3.6 billion) drop in turnover for the industry, one of the engines of Italy’s economy, representing the worst results since 1998, the survey found.

Nearly half of the drop in revenue will come from the hotel sector, found the study, which surveyed more than 2,100 entrepreneurs in the sector.

“A decrease was expected, but if it continues like this it will be the worst drop in the history of our tourism industry,” said Vittorio Messina, president of Assoturismo, Italy’s tourism federation, which commissioned the survey.

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After a two-month lockdown, Italy allowed European tourists to return on June 3, but incoming tourists from outside the Schengen zone are still prohibited.

“We have to make a plan for the revival of the sector which represents 13 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) and our calling card abroad,” Messina added.

AFP