Italy has seen disastrous tourism figures for 2021 with only 60 million visitors compared to more than 100 million in 2019, as well as 13 million fewer trips by Italians abroad.
Carlo Sangalli, the president of the association Confcommercio, raised the alarming statistics with the Italian government, calling for more support, including an extension of unemployment benefits.
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 for 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 numbers and led to cancellations.
Italy already requires unvaccinated EU citizens to quarantine for five days upon entering the country, while vaccinated visitors must test negative within 24 hours of arrival.
Of the 25 million departures planned by the Italians 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.
Along with bars and restaurants, Italy’s ski sector is also eyeing another tough winter. Tourists can only ski in the country if they have a valid “Green Pass”.
And as cases rise in northern regions, stricter measures could be introduced, leaving more uncertainty for ski resorts.