ROME — Italy’s leader is pitching for tourists to start coming from the United States, Canada and Japan to give a vitally needed boost to Italian hotel and restaurant businesses.
In a speech to lawmakers on Wednesday, Premier Mario Draghi noted that Italy has recently allowed people from those three countries to now come for tourism, previously not allowed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tourists must be vaccinated, have certification that they have recovered from the illness or have a negative COVID-19 test taken within 48 hours of entering Italy.
“We want to allow them to come safely into Italy to help our hoteliers and restaurateurs bounce back after a year-and-a-half of difficulty,’’ Draghi said.
Tourism accounts for 13% of Italy’s GDP. Many restaurants and hotels were closed for months, and some hotels, including those who cater heavily to U.S. tourists, have yet to re-open.