Wish you were here – Why governments are paying people to go on holiday | International

Wish you were here – Why governments are paying people to go on holiday | International

Jul 27th 2020VENETIANS HAVE long complained that a surfeit of tourists has turned their city into a historical Disneyland. As if to prove them right

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VENETIANS HAVE long complained that a surfeit of tourists has turned their city into a historical Disneyland. As if to prove them right, in 2018 the city council erected turnstiles to control the 40m or so holidaymakers swarming in every year. In 2019 “La Serenissima” went a step further and announced plans to charge visitors coming through those gates up to €10 ($11.50) a day.

Now Venice’s problem is not too many tourists, but too few. The covid-19 pandemic has caused a collapse in international travel. The OECD, an intergovernmental think-tank, forecasts that international tourism will fall by 60% globally in 2020 and by up to 80% if second waves of the pandemic delay economic recovery. So several governments, including Italy’s, are trying a radical new method of reviving their tourism industries: paying subsidies directly to holidaymakers. But with a recent spike in covid-19 across European tourism hotspots, increasing the risk of suddenly imposed quarantine rules that could wreck holidays, doubts are growing as to whether this is a sensible way to…



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