Italy tourism

The Italian tourism industry asks the government for financial assistance amid the current COVID-19 situation

Italy’s tourism industry has requested assistance from the country’s government to help the sector cope with the damage caused by the coronavirus and its new strains.

The Omicron variant of COVID-19 has recently led to a large number of flight cancellations over the Christmas weekend in Italy and other European countries, as governments continue to urge citizens to avoid unintended travel. essentials before the New Year celebrations, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

In this regard, the largest Italian trade association, Confcommercio, pointed out that there had been a decrease of 60 million tourist arrivals and a total of 120 million overnight stays this year, compared to the figures before the pandemic, as La Prensa Latina reported.

Furthermore, according to Confcommercio, of the 25 million trips planned by Italian citizens during the festive period, a total of five million have been canceled and another 5.3 million have been shortened.

In order to manage the current epidemiological situation, the Italian authorities have announced that restaurants, as well as nightclubs, will remain closed until January 31.

Last week, Italian authorities discussed the possibility of imposing stricter COVID-19 preventive measures, following the recent increase in the number of positive cases with the Omicron variant.

The trade association believes that the Italian government must support the tourism industry with financial interventions and facilitate access to credit.

According to the director of Confcommercio, Carlo Sangalli, the resources of the government are not sufficient so far.

“It is unthinkable that the Italian economy does not count the fundamental driver of tourism”, he underlined.

Despite the current COVID-19 situation, SchengenVisaInfo.com previously reported that domestic tourism in Italy peaked in July and August since the pandemic began.

Such conclusions were drawn by the Italian Confederation of Crafts and Small and Medium Enterprises (CAN), while the same pointed out that the increase in demand was mainly the result of the implementation of the pass green, which allows vaccinated people to travel more freely.

To help the country’s tourism industry, which accounts for almost 13% of Italy’s GDP, in October Italy’s Council of Ministers agreed to allocate almost €191.5 billion in funds through the facility for recovery and resilience.

However, the spread of the Omicron variant which has deeply affected many countries has led the Italian authorities to tighten their restrictions in order to prevent a further increase in the number of infections.

Earlier this month, Italian authorities announced that European Union nationals planning to travel to Italy would be required to undergo the COVID-19 testing process before their trip and prove that the test result is negative, upon arrival in Italy, regardless of the country. their vaccination or recovery status.

In addition, the Italian Council of Ministers also agreed to extend the state of emergency until March 31, 2022.

The Council of Ministers, on the proposal of President Mario Draghi and the Minister of Health Roberto Speranza, approved a decree-law that provides for the extension of the national state of emergency and measures to contain the COVID-19 epidemic until March 31, 2022“, specifies the press release.

Italy has recorded more than 5,647,300 cases of COVID-19 infection and 136,611 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to data provided by the World Health Organization (WHO).