A lack of foreign tourists in Italy this month has cost the country more than 3 billion euros ($3.5 billion) in lost revenue in the hospitality, food, transportation, entertainment and retail sectors, according to a report.
The report released on Sunday by the National Confederation of Farmers (Coldiretti) said that in July 2019, “over 8 million foreign citizens stayed overnight in Italy” but that in July 2020 “they were effectively zeroed out due to the spread of the coronavirus”, reports Xinhua news agency.
The gap caused by the absence of foreign tourists “has not been compensated by the 13.5 million Italians who took holidays in July”, it said.
Italian holidaymakers were down by 23 per cent in July compared to the same month last year, in what the Coldiretti report called “a significant decline due to uncertainty, fears, and economic difficulties” caused by the pandemic and its fallout.
A total of 130.2 million foreign tourists arrived in Italy in 2019, up by 42 million arrivals compared to 2015, according to the Italian National Statistics Institute (ISTAT).
Italy, one of the hardest hit European countries, has so far reported 246,118 COVID-19 cases, with 35,107 deaths.