Italy launches 'holiday bonus' to boost battered tourism sector

Rome (AFP) –


Italy has unveiled details of a new "holiday bonus" scheme under which low-income households will receive up to 500 euros ($560) each to help get the country's battered tourism sector back on its feet.

The government said it was setting aside 2.4 billion euros for households earning less than 40,000 euros a year to receive a financial incentive to holiday in Italy rather than go abroad.

Italy's tax authority said in a letter late Wednesday that the bonus will amount to 150 euros for single households, 300 euros for couples and 500 euros for families of three or more.

The bonus can be used to pay for holiday accommodation within Italy between July 1 and December 31.

Applicants will receive a discount of 80 percent on the price of the hotel room, bed-and-breakfast or self-catering accommodation and can claim the other 20 percent against tax.

Tourism accounts for around 13 percent of Italy's gross domestic product and the sector has been brought to its knees by the coronavirus pandemic, with industry experts projecting a shortfall in revenues of as much as 3.2 billion euros this summer.

Italy reopened its borders to tourists from the EU and from Schengen countries on June 3.