Low tourism numbers to Italy

Italy has reopened for tourism, including health tourism and medical tourism but numbers are low. According to ENIT (the Italian National Tourism Authority), tourism in Italy this year will go through a deep crisis and will only be able to return to 2019 levels in 2023.

Italy recently updated the countries permitted to visit, both with restrictions and without. There are three categories:

  • A – countries without any restrictions upon arrival.
  • B – countries with a 14-day quarantine requirement.
  • C – banned countries.

Movement within and between categories is now in a state of flux, but as of 31 July there were 33 in A, 12 in B and 16 in C.

31 July should have seen a major category change but the surge in cases across the world has put that on hold. A tightening up may be imminent.

Everyone must fill in and carry a self-certification form on their arrival to Italy to track and trace in case of an outbreak. This is paper-based, as Italian state regulation and technology are not compatible.

There are many new rules for spa facilities and wellness centres, including the requirement to make a reservation in advance as access is limited. At the entrance, a visitor’s temperature may be measured. Sauna and Turkish Baths (with the exception of hotels offering exclusive use of the spa) cannot be used. Separate registration is required for Sardinia, Sicily, Apulia and Calabria.

At present Italy is not promoting medical tourism. It is encouraging thermal spa tourism, but at the same time heavily regulating it.

Despite a media campaign, tourism to Italy this summer has remained low. There have been attempts by the Italian government to promote domestic tourism, via a package of holiday bonuses to its nationals to encourage them to travel within Italy until the end of 2020. This has so far met with sparse success.