Tourism accounts for about an eighth of GDP in Spain and Italy, which were both badly hit by the coronavirus. Desperate not to lose the summer, Italy cautiously reopened its borders and Spain it set to follow. But no one expects mass tourism to resume overnight, it could spark a new wave of coronavirus.
On the other hand the mayor of Venice and other European cities see the crisis as a chance to tackle “overtourism”, which they say has wreaked environmental havoc and ruined neighbourhoods as landlords turn rental properties into holiday lets, pricing out residents.
This is a chance to encourage a mix of businesses and ban new hotels and make cities like Amsterdam, Barcelona and Venice more affordable for locals by cutting taxes on homes, while raising them on holiday lets and empty properties.
Photo: Nicola Fioravanti