• Offer may include three-nights-for-price-of-two deal on accommodation in Sicily, and even cheap flights
• Country’s tourism minister dispels talk of Italy being off-limits all year
Sicily’s regional government is offering to subsidise holidays on the island for both domestic and international visitors in an effort to kickstart tourism after the coronavirus pandemic. News of the scheme came days before a statement from the Italian government that it expects borders to be open to tourists this summer.
A financial pot of €75m of regional government money has been set aside to boost tourism following huge financial losses after the lockdown came into effect across Italy on 10 March. Current plans include subsidising visitors’ accommodation costs, offering one night of a three-night trip for free, or two nights of a six-day trip, as well as vouchers for cultural and heritage activities. The plans were detailed in an interview with Sicily’s tourism director, Manlio Messina, on Italian news show Mattino Cinque. There have been reports that the funding may also be used towards paying for up to half of the cost of flights, but this has not yet been confirmed.