People, Travel

Central Italy Fears Tourism Decline

Central Italy Fears Tourism DeclineCentral Italy Fears Tourism Decline

Following three powerful earthquakes in the span of two months, Italy’s central regions fear the devastation will cost them much-needed tourism revenue. Farmers’ organization Coldiretti warned that tourism, a key sector in the rugged mountain areas, is facing collapse as nature- and food-loving visitors are put off by the scenes of destruction broadcast around the world, AFP reported. Coldiretti said tourists would normally spend a total of 220,000 nights a year in the quake zone, providing a financial lifeline for scores of farm bed and breakfasts, hotels and restaurants, as well as a key market for local artisanal food producers. “The risk is that this will be wiped out completely by the earthquakes,” the organization said, citing a survey of operators that found “tourists fleeing, reservations being cancelled, occupancy rates at virtually zero and disastrous expectations for the Christmas holiday period”. More than 40,000 people are estimated to have been forced out of their homes as a result of the damage done by the August 24, October 26 and October 30 quakes, and by thousands of powerful aftershocks, the latest of which was a 4.8-magnitude tremor that struck in the early hours of Thursday.


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