Rome

Two-thirds of Italians to give up summer holiday

Long-running recession puts damper on vacation plans

Two-thirds of Italians to give up summer holiday

Rome, June 10 - Some two-thirds of Italians will be giving up the traditional summer holiday as the country's longest recession in 20 years drags on, consumer association Federconsumatori said on Monday. According to the association's report only 32%, or 19.2 million Italians, will take off for a week or more. The same crisis that is causing Italians to cut back on vacation time has people looking more towards low-cost options like house swaps, low-season holidays and staying with friends or family to save hotel expenses. Prices that have remained at previous year's levels are not enough to help raise tourism figures, the report said. "A sector as vital as tourism is an opportunity for an economic turnaround," the report said. "That is why it is urgent to kick off an economic revival with targeted actions, to strengthen the purchasing power of families by not raising the VAT and to resume investments in modernization and improvement of quality standards in the tourism sector," the report said. The country's VAT is set to rise in July by one percent, however Premier Enrico Letta's government has said they will try to avoid raising the tax.

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