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, according to a new survey from Florence's Centre for Tourism Studies (CTS).
- Which countries have dropped travel restrictions on Italy?
- When will Americans be allowed to travel to Italy again?
Visitors enjoy a coffee on St Mark's Square in Venice on June 3rd. Photo: AFP
“Post-Covid crisis, there will be an opportunity to tackle the issue of sustainability and a new way of proposing and experiencing tourism,”
Palmucci predicts that the tourism industry will recover quickly, once unrestricted travel begins again, with the market getting back to where it was in 2019 “by 2022.”
He said he expects “a rapid recovery of international tourism from distant markets, especially in the States.”
However many tourism businesses warn that they might not be able to to hold out much longer, with small businesses in particular saying they're feeling the squeeze and have had little support from the government.
Some small accommodation business owners told The Local earlier in June that a government scheme meant to incentivise tourism could actually leave them out of pocket in the short term.
“We’ve had requests from guests wanting to use the 500 euros off your holiday scheme, but we’re expected to claim the money back through tax credits which could take a long time,” said one hotel owner in Umbria, who gave her name as Stefania.
Bernabó Bocca, president of Italian hoteliers' association Federalberghi, called on the government to provide more assistance for the sector, telling the Senate in that “some of the measures taken so far go in the right direction, but with maddening slowness.”
“We need to increase resources to support tourism and speed up the time taken for measures to come into force,” he said. “otherwise companies won't make it.”
A closed hotel in central Rome. File photo: AFP