People wait in line to have their body temperature checked before entering the reopened Colosseum in Rome, Italy, June 1, 2020.(Xinhua/Cheng Tingting)

Italian tourism sector still reeling from effects of pandemic: reports

A summer season without foreign tourists will cost Italy 12 billion euros (13.6 billion U.S. dollars) in lost revenue for hotels, restaurants, transportation firms and retailers, according to a new report from the National Confederation of Farmers (Coldiretti) on Saturday.

Last year, over 16 million foreigners spent their holidays in Italy during July, August and September. However, Italy is currently off limits to many key markets due to ongoing travel restrictions linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, said the report.

June 2020 saw domestic and foreign arrivals drop by 10 million and this had a “drastic impact on the economy and on jobs in the Made-in-Italy holiday sector, which is made up of 612,000 businesses employing 2.7 million workers,” Coldiretti noted in a recent report on July 9.

Also on Saturday, the Italian Confederation of Tourism Businesses (Confturismo), which is a division of the General Italian Confederation of Businesses (Confcommercio), cited a new survey that 93 percent of Italian respondents say they will likely spend their summer holidays in their home country, up 16 percent from last year.

However, 39 percent of the respondents said they are not sure when they will depart, and another 19 percent remain undecided as to whether or not to take a trip because they aren’t sure they can afford a vacation after the lockdown.

A girl swings by Lake Bracciano in Anguillara Sabazia near Rome, Italy, on June 16, 2020. (Xinhua/Cheng Tingting)

“This is a scenario of great uncertainty, which is confirmed by the fact that just 36 percent of respondents who intend to take a holiday say they have already booked their trip,” Confturismo-Confcommercio said in a statement. “This is an incredibly low percentage for this time of year.”

“The lockdown is over but the crisis continues,” commented Confturismo-Confcommercio President Luca Patane, who called on the government to do more for the hard-hit tourism sector.

Confturismo represents over 220,000 firms including hotels, tourist agencies, camping sites, tourist villages, as wells as bars, restaurants, night clubs, youth hostels, nautical hiring services, and B&Bs. Confturismo-Confcommercio also represents tourist guides and tour managers, according to the United Nations World Trade Organization (UNWTO). (1 euro = 1.13 U.S. dollars)