Sicily’s Way To Increase Tourism? Pay People To Come

by SharonKurheg

For better or for worse, some countries are starting to let down their guard and allowing their citizens some more freedom. Without a vaccination available or even proper testing in some places, on top of the number of cases not yet decreasing in several countries, we don’t know if this experiment in being “closer to normal” will work or not. But I guess countries feel they need to start somewhere, so let’s look at the bright side of this…

Maybe the virus will somehow be kept at bay, even with more people out and about, and folks can get on with their lives. The tourist industry has been hurt VERY badly by this pandemic and probably will continue to do so for years to come. Some places have already thought of ways and things to help the tourist industry:

Sicily seems to have gotten a hint from that last one because the regional government of Sicily is trying to get tourists to come by, well, paying them. 😉

To help entice people to come back to the island, Sicily has set a €50 million ($54 million) budget to cover their tourists’ upcoming visits. They’ll pay for one out of every 3 nights stayed at a Sicilian hotel, waive all fees to museums and historic sites and even pay for half of the tourists’ airfare!

Italy’s tourism industry accounts for 13% of its gross domestic product (GDP). With the second-highest coronavirus-related death toll in the world (second only to the U.S. We’re #1! We’re #1!), they lost $1.2 billion in March and April alone.

However, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced last week that they will begin to slowly lift quarantine measures on May 4th. If all goes well, they’ll continue to allow more freedoms, which would ultimately enable their tourism industry to start to recover.

When that time comes, more information will be on Sicily’s tourism website (note: at the time of this writing, the website was down, but it’s what Google lists as their tourist website, so…). You can also check out Italy’s COVID-19 info & updates for tourists on this page.

#stayhealthy #stayathome #washyourhands

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

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