By now, you’ve heard that Italy has its sights set on becoming the first European country to host a full-scale VR experience for tourism, and now a new report from the Economist highlights the challenges faced by tourism in Italy.
In a report titled “Tourism: A Year of Change,” the paper describes the situation as a “gauntlet” that could see Italy struggle to attract tourists while Europe’s top tourism destinations struggle to keep up.
The Economist says that the Italian government is already “shunning” the use of virtual reality for tourism and is planning to implement an “in-person VR experience” that would include “full 360-degree video panoramas” for people who want to explore the country.
The report also points to a trend of Italy’s tourism-focused tourism industry falling behind other European countries.
The report says that in 2016, Italy’s total tourist revenue reached €4.5 billion, but only €5.7 billion of that was from Europe.
While tourism is an integral part of Italy, its economy is “still struggling to keep pace with the rapid growth of digital services, and to attract foreign investment.”
The report says the Italian economy is set to suffer even further as its population ages and jobs become less plentiful.
While Italy’s unemployment rate is currently 8.4%, it is projected to hit 25% by 2025.
The country has also been hit by the “disastrous economic recession” that has left the economy in a state of disrepair, and the report says Italy’s growth prospects will be severely limited as a result.
“For Italy to become a world leader in tourism and other digital services in the years ahead, it must also become a global leader in digital services,” the report states.
“The challenge will be to keep attracting a broader range of international talent to Italy and to diversify its economy away from its tourism and digital industries.
In short, Italy must be able to attract a broader pool of talent, which will be key to attracting new international and domestic tourists.”
For more on VR, check out this report.
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