Although the coronavirus pandemic is far from over, some places are already gearing up for life after the crisis. Among these places is the Italian island of Sicily, which is so desperate for visitors that it is offering to pay for half of people's airfare plus a third of their accommodations, should they choose to visit this fall.
As tourism makes up 13% of Italy's GDP, the island has lost a staggering $1.09 billion in revenue since the country was shut down on March 10. Now, the regional government has pledged $75 million for tourism initiatives with hopes that visitations will once again surge when the restrictions on non-essential travel are lifted.
On top of partly covering trip expenses, they are also offering hotel vouchers and waiving fees to popular attractions on the island, from museums to archaeological sites.
While no official date has been confirmed, Italy has already taken steps to ease lockdown restrictions. By May 4, some restaurants will be back in business, as well as various companies in manufacturing and construction.
The hope is that interregional travel will be reinstated by fall, which is considered the prime time for travel to Italy; however, there is no guarantee that will be the case. In fact, most models predict that we could be dealing with the coronavirus pandemic for several more months, so it is difficult to say when people will once again be able to hop onto international flights.
Sicily has been rightfully pegged as the "Eternal crossroads of the Mediterranean" by Lonely Planet. The island exhibits a perfect blend of classic European charm and tropical island vibes, with ancient architectural sites scattered throughout its old towns and white sand beaches lining its edges.
For more information on how you can avail of this deal, check out the Visit Italy website sometime after the country reopens its borders.
Photo by Ruth Troughton
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