Italy down almost €2 billion in lost income from foreign tourists in August.
Italy failed to see the surge of tourists it had been hoping for in mid-August, Demoskopika institute chief Raffaele Rio said in an interview with Italian news agency ANSA.
Rio paints a bleak picture of an industry "exhausted" by covid-19, with 220,000 jobs already lost and the future of 50,000 tourism-related companies hanging in the balance, amid a stark reminder that "the year is not over yet."
''Last year, processing central bank figures, in the month of August alone more than five million foreign tourists chose to spend their holidays in Italy, generating over 37 million night stays in hotels and accommodation facilities in the Belpaese, spending about €4 billion.''
"This year, we estimate that there was a drop in the same period of around 70 per cent, with a 3.6 million decrease in foreign tourists and a drop in expenditure of almost €2 billion,'' Rio told ANSA.
"There is no doubt that, proportionally, art cities suffered more severely from the collapse of the sector" - Rio said - "especially due to the significant decrease in international tourism."
The figures from the research institute show that about six out of every 10 Italians who said they would be going on holiday opted for seaside resorts, mainly in Sicily, Puglia, Calabria, Emilia-Romagna and Sardinia.
Based on data from the Bank of Italy, the institute estimates that "about 2.7 million foreigners decided in the end not to stay in an art city in Italy between July and August,'' Rio told ANSA, while recent findings by Demoskopika estimated that at least 8 million Italians abandoned the idea of a family holiday due to lack of funds.
Photo by Wanted in Rome: Tourists arrive at Colosseum on evening of 26 August.