Italians drop holiday plans as crisis bites

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Italians have cut their travel by nearly half over the past five years. Photo: Tom Godber/Flickr
17:15 CET+01:00
The number of trips taken by Italians since the economic crisis began in 2008 has plummeted by 48.6 percent, new statistics show.

Last year Italy’s resident population took just over 63 million trips with overnight stays, whether for work or holiday, the country’s statistics agency Istat said this week.

With a population of nearly 60 million one trip per person may seem like a fair ratio, but a broader look shows that Italians have nearly halved travel in recent years.

They took 48.6 percent fewer holidays or work trips last year than five years’ previously, continuing a year-on-year decline.

Most stay within Italy and those that go beyond the country’s borders rarely venture far, the top holiday destinations last year being France and Spain. Europe’s economic powerhouse, Germany, topped the chart for business trips.

The figures are the latest in a series that show while many European countries are emerging from the economic crisis, Italy is still lagging behind.

The country’s unemployment rate stands at 12.7 percent, well above the EU average of 10.7 percent. The situation is showing little improvement for those in work, with the lowest wage increase in real terms since 1982.

As a result Italians are emigrating in increasing numbers; from 2011 to 2012 the number of people leaving the country jumped by 36 percent. They mainly went to Germany, Switzerland, the UK and France, all of which have lower unemployment rates than Italy.

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READ MORE: More Italians flee while migration to Italy falls

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