Billions to be injected into Italy's tourism sector
Posted on 13/01/2018


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Italy's largest bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, has struck a deal with the country's culture minister to invest approximately 5 billion euros into the tourism sector.

Italy welcomed 117 million visitors in 2016

Italy welcomed 117 million visitors in 2016
Iakov Kalinin/123RF

The deal, which was given the name 'Tourism 4.0' was signed in Rome between representatives of Intesa Sanpaolo and the country's Ministry of Heritage and Cultural Activities and Tourism. The bank, which is Italy's largest in terms of assets, is set to invest the money into the sector over a period of three years. The majority of the money will go towards restoration and development projects which will see more historical buildings across Italy become available for cultural use. A portion of the money has also been allocated towards training workers, improving accommodation and boosting technological innovation.

According to a study carried out by the Intesa Sanpaolo group, tourism accounts for approximately 11% of the country's GDP and 12.5% of jobs. The study also found that some 117 million people visited Italy in 2016. The report highlights that while a large percentage of visitors came from within Europe there has also been a sizeable increase in visitors from countries in Asia.

Culture Minister Dario Franceschini praised the deal calling it "a virtuous example of cooperation between the public and private sectors." The miniter went on to call on interpreneurs to invest in the tourism industry stating that "There's a need for both the public and private sectors to play their part".

Investment in tourism by the private sector is nothing new in Italy. Recent years have seen numerous historical sites in Italy renovated using money from private donors in the luxury fashion and food sectors. Earlier this year food chain Eataly announced its intention to fund the 1 million restoration of Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece "The Last Supper", while luxury brand Gucci said it would pledge money to renovate the famous Boboli Gardens in Florence.