ROME — Italy has seen disastrous tourism figures for 2021 with only 60 million visitors compared to over 100 million in 2019, as well as 13 million fewer trips by Italians abroad.
Carlo Sangalli, the president of the Confcommercio association, raised the alarming statistics to the Italian Government, appealing for more support including an extension to unemployment payments.
Sangali added that it was „unthinkable“ for an Italian economy to function without the tourism sector.
„The government must support the tourism industry by adopting measures on social safety nets, without increasing the cost to businesses, and access to credit, but also tax measures,“ he said.
Growing concerns over the Omicron variant and new travel restrictions have undoubtedly caused such stark figures and led to cancellations.
Italy already requires unvaccinated EU citizens to quarantine for five days when entering the country, while vaccinated visitors must get a negative test within 24 hours of arrival.
Compared to the 25 million departures planned by Italians just a few months ago, five million have already been canceled, and 5.3 million modified by reducing the number of holidays or choosing a closer destination. Another seven million trips remain pending.
Aside from bars and restaurants, Italy’s ski sector is also looking at another tough winter. Tourists can only ski in the country if they have a valid „Green Pass“.
And as cases rise in the northern regions, tougher measures could be introduced, leaving further uncertainty for ski resorts.