The Coronavirus pandemic has provoked a total of €120.6 billion financial loss in Italy and a 51 per cent decrease in contribution to Italy’s gross domestic product (GDP) during last year, as almost all countries have temporarily suspended international travel to stop the further spread of the disease.
In addition, a total of 337,000 persons working in the travel and tourism sector in Italy have been left jobless, facing many difficulties.
These figures have been revealed by a survey conducted by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), presented during the annual Economic Impact Report (EIR), SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
The data show that travel and tourism contribution to Italy’s GDP in 2019 was €236 billion or 13.1 per cent. The figures dropped to €116 billion or seven per cent, in 2020, due to the Coronavirus pandemic situation.
However, Gloria Guevara, President & CEO of WTTC, believes that the situation could have been worse if the country’s government did not present job retention schemes that helped thousands of businesses and workers.
“The situation could have been far worse if it were not for the government’s Cassa Integrazione Ordinaria scheme, which supported up to 80% of a worker’s salary and kept many people in their jobs whilst the Travel & Tourism sector continued to suffer,” she pointed out.
The number of women, youth, and minorities engaged in the travel and tourism sector in 2019, was 3.5 million. After 12 months, it marked a 9.6 per cent decrease, to about 3.2 million in 2020.
The report reveals domestic visitor spending decreased by 49.6 per cent while international spending marked a 62 per cent decline, but still lower than the average decrease of almost 70 per cent.
However, Guevara stressed that WTTC believes that if countries’ governments relax travel restrictions before the summer season, all 337,000 jobs lost in Italy last year could return by next year.
“Another year of terrible losses can be avoided if the government supports the swift resumption of international travel, which will be vital to powering the turnaround of the Italian economy,” Guevara pointed out.
She stressed that, based on WTTC’s research data, the travel and tourism sector’s contribution to global GDP could increase sharply in 2021, by 48.5 per cent year-on-year, if international travel resumes by June.
WTTC hopes that the Digital Green Certificates, which some countries have already introduced in the EU countries in order to facilitate the travel, “would further enable mobility in the region.”
In this regard, Italy’s National Federation of Travel and Tourism Industry previously urged the country’s government to start issuing certificates to all persons who have taken the vaccine against the virus.
In addition, authorities in Italy recently introduced a vaccination plan named “Covid-free islands” in order to vaccinate all residents of holiday islands to revive the country’s travel and tourism industry by summer.
Italy is not the only country affected by the pandemic as Germany’s travel and tourism sector lost €161 billion in 2020, WTTC report revealed. The same has previously released data that show that the travel and tourism sector lost €3,8 trillion in 2020 amid the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic outbreak.