[Disclaimer: The South African government has banned all non-essential domestic travel and all international travel.]
Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, the majority of the world has gone into some sort of lockdown or self-isolation with businesses and entire industries being irrevocably affected. The event and tourism industry, in particular, has taken a major hit across the globe with airlines closing shop and hotels and resorts sitting with vacant rooms for the foreseeable future.
The World Tourism Council estimates that more than 50 million jobs in the industry could be lost and that the sector itself could shrink by up to 25 per cent this year alone.
There’s no doubt that there will not be any serious domestic or international travel just yet and when the time does come for us move freely once more, we first and foremost encourage you to #StayandPlayinSA and support local tourism – but if you do decide to travel overseas, there are other regions who could also do with the support, like Italy – a nation particularly hard hit by the pandemic and who also heavily relies on its lucrative tourism industry.
That’s why parts of the country, like Sicily, are coming up with plans to encourage travellers to return the country once the outbreak has been contained.
The beautiful Mediterranean island has reportedly already lost US$1.09 billion in revenue since Italy went into lockdown in March. But with restrictions beginning to ease and summer on its way the local tourism sector has a plan to bring visitors back.
The government is offering to pay for tourists to go on holiday in Sicily and has budgeted US$50 million to get people visiting the island. The Sicilian government will reportedly pay for half of a visitors airfare as well as prepared one-third of the hotel expenses.
As soon as air travel is safe again, vouchers for this deal will be up for grabs via Sicily’s tourism website. There has been no confirmation as to when that will be and if the deal will be open to international travellers. For more information, keep your eye on their website, right here.