Italy, France announce massive bailouts for tourism industry devastated by pandemic

Billions of Euros to be allocated to tourism sector to prevent it from total collapse.

Arutz Sheva staff ,


Italy and France, two countries badly impacted by the coronavirus with tens of thousands of deaths, have now authorized massive bailout packages for their tourism industries in an attempt to rescue the sector from total collapse.

France is the most visited country in the world; last year, around 90 million tourists traveled there. The French tourism industry employs around two million people and represents eight percent of the economy. Now, with 95% of French hotels still shut, the sector is facing disaster.

According to a report in The Telegraph, the French government has now announced a €18bn plan to revive the tourism industry. French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe stated: “Whatever strikes tourism strikes the heart of France … Tourism is … one of the crown jewels of the French economy, rescuing it is a national priority.”

The plan includes €1.3bn in direct investment, in addition to government-guaranteed loans. According to Philippe, this is, “a commitment of more than €18 billion in public finances: it is without precedent, it is massive, it is necessary.”

In addition, the French government has announced that it will continue to reimburse 70% of the gross wages of workers in the tourism industry who have been sent on unpaid leave, until the end of September and possibly beyond, The Telegraph reports.

France is gradually easing its lockdown, and restaurants in its “green zones” where rates of contagion are low may be permitted to reopen in June. However, since Paris is defined as a “red zone,” restaurants there will remain shuttered for the immediate future.

Italy, too, has taken steps to revive its tourism industry, which represents around 15% of the country’s GDP. The government has announced a €4 billion bailout package to the sector within the framework of its general measures for economic recovery, and in addition, is offering bonuses to Italian families who book vacations in Italy.

Families of three people or more whose income is under €40,000 will be given 500 Euros; couples will receive 300 Euros; and singles will receive 150 Euros each.