About €36.7 billion might be lost from the Italian economy due to the collapse of international travel during 2020, according to latest research conducted by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). WTTC, which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, says the decline in the number of international travellers and tourists visiting Italy, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, could result in international visitor spending dropping by 82%.
This loss to the Italian economy equates to a shortfall of €100 million a day, or €700 million a week, to the country’s economy. WTTC and its Members recently called upon Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and the other leaders of the G7 countries, to urge for a coordinated approach to be taken to lead the global recovery response to the crisis.
In a ‘worst case’ scenario mapped out by WTTC economic modelling, some 2.8 million jobs in Italy which are supported by Travel & Tourism are at risk of being lost. Across Europe, in the ‘worst case’ scenario, that figure could rise to more than 29m (29.5m) Travel & Tourism jobs.
According to WTTC’s 2020 Economic Impact Report, during 2019, Travel & Tourism was responsible for almost 3.5 million jobs in Italy, or 14.9% of the country’s total workforce. It also generated €232.9 billion GDP, or 13% to the Italian economy.
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“The lack of international travel caused by the pandemic could wipe out more than €36 billion from the Italian economy alone,” Gloria Guevara, WTTC President & CEO, said. “International coordination to re-establish transatlantic travel would provide a vital boost for the Travel & Tourism sector. It would benefit airlines and hotels, travel agents and tour operators and revitalise the millions of jobs which are dependent on international travel.”
WTTC analysis of international travel spending in Italy during 2019 reveals it reached almost €45 billion, accounting for 24% of the total tourism spend in the country. Domestic travel spending last year was responsible for the other 76%.
A further breakdown reveals how crucial spending from international travellers during 2019 was to the Italian economy. Every month it accounted for €3.74 billion or €861 million a week – and €123 million a day.
“Targeted test and tracing will also rebuild the much-needed consumer confidence to travel,” said Guevara. “It will enable the restoration of vital ‘air corridors’ between countries and regions with similar Covid-19 case rates.
Between 2016 and 2018, the largest inbound source markets to Italy were travellers from Germany, accounting for one in five (20%) of all international arrivals, with the US and France both coming in second with 8%, and the UK in third place with 6%.
Data for 2018, which is the most up-to-date available, shows how Rome is dependent on international visitor spending. It accounted for 66% of all tourism spending in the city, with domestic tourists making up the remaining 34%.
The US was the most important source market for the city with 18% of arriving visitors, with Spain in second place with 8% of arrivals, the UK in third place with 7% of arrivals, and Germany in fourth position with 6%.
“The lack of international travel could threaten Milan’s position as global financial powerhouse for business, and Rome as a major leisure destination,” said Guevara.