Rome

Tourism down 50% since 2010, say Italian travel agents

Income drop and Med instability concerns contribute

Tourism down 50% since 2010, say Italian travel agents

(ANSA) - Rome, August 24 - Tourism has dropped by as much as 50% since 2010, the association of Italian tour agencies said Friday. A drop in families' disposable income as well as concerns about instability in some Mediterranean countries has dramatically slashed spending on vacations, says Assoviaggi-Confesercenti, the trade group which represents travel agencies in Europe. To date this year, bookings are down 30%, marking the third consecutive year of declines, says the organization. "Since 2010, we've lost 50% of business turnover," said Amalio Guerra, president of Assoviaggi. He noted more and more Italians are waiting until the last minute to book a vacation, in the hope of finding a better deal. The effect of do-it-yourself vacations can also be seen in the drop in agencies' business.

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