Italy expects 20% tourism increase in 2020 as restrictions ease

Italy expects a 20% increase in summer tourists this year compared to 2020 as the country gradually eases restrictions on Covid-19, the Italian Tourism Federation said on Saturday.

“The summer season 2021 shows the first signs of a recovery in the sector. Between June and August, 33 million arrivals are expected as well as 140 million nights spent in official (tourist) structures, an increase of 20.8 % from 2020, ”Assoturismo said after an investigation. 2,185 tourism businesses.

The federation added that this would bring the sector around 12.8 billion euros ($ 15.6 billion) in tourism revenue – around three-quarters of Italian compatriots visiting other regions.

Despite this, Assoturismo said the increase “would not be enough to return to pre-Covid levels” because the summer of 2019, the last before the pandemic, saw an additional 73.5 million nights spent in the country.

Before the pandemic, tourism accounted for 14% of GDP in Italy – the EU’s third-largest economy – and the fallout from the coronavirus helped tip Italy into its worst recession since World War II.

Despite the reopening of many air links, the sector is pinning its hopes on short-term tourism this summer as locals consider coastal breaks as well as major cities attract Rome, Florence and Venice.

These shorter journeys are expected to increase by a quarter compared to last year, helped in particular by price cuts of up to a third.

Italy hopes to welcome 6.7 million more foreign tourists this year than in 2020, but arrivals will still be much lower, by around two-thirds, compared to 2019 when the 100 million mark was crossed.

“After 12 terrible months, Italian tourism can finally detect concrete signs of recovery. But it is still a slow recovery, especially when it comes to foreign demand which will not be enough to remove what has been lost with it. the pandemic “, declared the president of Assoturismo Vittorio. Messina.

“Our hope is that the end of season sales will give us better results thanks to the European health passport,” added Messina.

She said she regretted that uncertainty over dates to ease restrictions and curfew limitations had pushed some foreign visitors to other destinations.

Italian authorities have gradually lifted the restrictions as virus data improved.

The current curfew, which previously ran from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., will be pushed back one hour from Monday to start at midnight.

Bars and restaurants will also be permitted to serve indoors at tables limited to a maximum of four customers.

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