Italy waiting for the tourists

After months of isolation, Italy, which was hit hard by the coronavirus crisis and depends heavily on tourism, reopened its borders on June 3. But so far few holidaymakers have ventured into the country. Is the crisis also an opportunity to reform the tourism industry?

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La Repubblica (IT) /

Focus on peripheral areas

Carlo Petrini, founder of the slow food movement, hopes for domestic, sustainable tourism in La Repubblica:

“This could be the summer of trips to nearby locations, one which forces us to discover smaller areas that are less overrun by mass tourism. A scenario that should help the country to at least partially make up for the slump in foreign tourists. ... It's time to focus on peripheral rural areas, places where the food and land go hand in hand and where the destinations and the inhabitants are the centre of attention: real, irreplaceable and steeped in an immense cultural legacy that is just waiting to be discovered, tasted and told.”

Corriere della Sera (IT) /

Time to reinvent tourism

Writing in Corriere della Sera columnist Gian Antonio Stella also argues that a new concept is needed for the holiday industry:

“Should we continue to rely on the shabby sort of tourism that has laid waste to thousands of kilometres of coastline, or should we try to save our unique and beautiful country? Should we attract even more 'hit-and-run' tourists, cruise ship passengers and barbarians in vests, and fill up every last nook and cranny of vulnerable cities like Venice to make up for the lost months, or should we finally try a new approach? Should we comply with the ticket strategies of cheap foreign tour operators, or should we demand some respect for our tourists and guests? Should we continue to tolerate illegal rentals, or should we regulate the abuse that is harming our hotels, as the mayors of Barcelona and Paris have done?”