In Italy, the first two cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) were registered at the end of January 2020. Then, since February 22, the epidemic started to spread quickly among the Italian population. As of September 1, 2020, Italy recorded 270 thousand cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), representing one of the most affected countries worldwide. Currently, the regions with the highest number of cases are Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, and Piedmont, located in the north of the country. Demographic data on the infected patients show that COVID-19 in Italy hit mainly people aged 50 years and older. Furthermore, Italy counted almost 208 thousand people recovered from coronavirus or discharged from hospitals as of September 1, 2020.
Due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the gross domestic product (GDP) in Italy is estimated to decrease. Since the outbreak of coronavirus, different estimates on the GDP growth based on different scenarios have been released. According to a forecast from July, by 2020, the Italian GDP might decrease by 11.2 percent. Nevertheless, the impact of coronavirus on the Italian economy might vary according to the sector. For instance, the consumption value in the food, health, and media sectors is expected to increase. Conversely, the sectors of textile, transport, hotels, restaurants, and entertainment are estimated to record the highest drop.
In this sense, it is forecast that the tourism industry in Italy will be highly affected by the spread of COVID-19. An outlook published in March 2020 shows that the country is expected to register a decrease of approximately 4.7 million international tourist arrivals. In this respect, the highest drop in arrivals relates to Chinese, German, and U.S. travelers. Moreover, a forecast from March 2020 estimated that revenues of hotels, travel agencies and other touristic facilities are expected to decrease significantly.