Proximity tourism: what it is and why it is a trump card

byVerónica Crocitti

What does "proximity tourism" mean and why is this a trump card against the Coronavirus economic crisis? The 2020 holidays will be dedicated to (re)discovery of our Italy.

The Covid-19 emergency and the global pandemic will have significant repercussions on the way we travel. It is not yet clear when and how we will be able to go back to exploring the world, considering that the reopening of the borders of the various countries will have different timings and, at the moment, there is no certainty about dates or anything else.

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No one, to date, can really predict what will happen in the coming months. Will we go on vacation? Will we go back to flying with peace of mind? Will we be able to travel to Asia? In Africa?

In this moment of great confusion for the tourism sector, theThe Italian government has begun to outline a Phase 2in stages which provides for free movement within the region to which one belongs and, after 3 June, within and beyond national borders, albeit with the limitation of those of theEuropean Unionand the Schengen area.

What does this mean? It means that, at least for this first phase, the only tourism that travelers will be able to support with confidence is the one called "proximity tourism".


The word itself says it all: "proximity tourism" is that type of tourism that aims at (re)discovering the closest places, the glimpses that are just a few kilometers from home, those places which, precisely because they are excessively close and newspapers, we have never considered looking through the eyes of a visitor.

Proximity tourism is a different form of tourism to which, perhaps, we are not so used to. Globalisation, ever lower flight prices, the possibility of reaching the other end of the world in a few hours, have meant that our travel has become "global-sized". Yet it wasn't always like this. Among50s and 60s, for example, proximity tourism was very popular in our Italy, especially among those families who could not afford distant and expensive trips.

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The 2020 pandemic will mark a deep groove in our lives and, consequently, also in our way of travelling. In these months we will often hear about proximity tourism. I think it's really good, and now I'll tell you why.


Among the sectors most affected by the Covid-19 emergency, tourism is certainly among the first on the list. If you consider that the tourism sector alone is worth 13% of the national GDP and represents more than 6% of the employed, you understand well that the crisis in Italian tourism means the crisis of thousands and thousands of families.

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For Italian companies operating in the tourism field, restarting will be very difficult and, precisely for this reason, we are all called to support each other: proximity tourism is a winning recipe that is worth experimenting with. To support this recipe, the Government has already prepared aHoliday Bonuswhich will allow Italians to take advantage of discounts and tax deductions for stays in accommodation facilities that fall within the national territory…. but it is we, first of all, who have to understand how important proximity tourism is today and what discovering, and rediscovering, places close to home can give us.


It is no coincidence that our Italy is known worldwide as the Belpaese. We live in a land rich in history, art, culture, nature and unparalleled food and wine delights. If one thing we've learned from this pandemic, it's that we can never take anything for granted.

READ ALSO:Journey to Italy: 4 unmissable destinations in the Belpaese

"Proximity tourism" means exactly this: do not take for granted the beauties that are found behind the house, a stone's throw from us, in those same places that we have seen before our eyes thousands of times but which, out of habit, never have we ever stopped to observe. It's the right time to do it, for us and for our beautiful land.

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