Italian landscapes from Tuscany’s countryside to Sicily’s dramatic hills have made the country a favorite site for luxury weddings and spawned a multi-billion-euro industry to host them.
The pandemic and global shutdown have changed that.
Over the past 12 months, an estimated 9,000 weddings for foreign couples have been canceled, according to Italy’s Confindustria business group, and 85 percent of the 210,000 domestic unions that were scheduled for the scenic venues did not materialize.
The crippled wedding industry and its 46,000 paralyzed businesses will account for at least a third of the €10 billion Italy’s tourism industry will lose this year, Confindustria estimates.
Tuscany and Lake Como, the Amalfi coast, Apulia, and Sicily will be the hardest hit, the group predicted.
Apulia, a quaint region of whitewashed villages and miles of the Mediterranean coast, generated €1 billion in wedding-related commerce in 2019, a number expected to plummet by 90 percent this year.
“International weddings are the most lucrative for local economies because they’re generally luxurious and last three to seven days,” Michele Boccardi, president of the Assoeventi wedding trade group, said in a comment quoted by the Financial Times.
But couples are “having second thoughts on [their wedding] destination even for 2021 and 2022,” Liz Linklater, a London wedding planner, told the Times. “Many are opting to stay home and do something local.”
TRENDPOST: We note this article from the Financial Times to illustrate the deep and lasting devastation inflicted upon hundreds of millions of lives and livelihoods across the planet as a result of draconian lockdown rules.
Again, minus an unforeseen event, be it man-made or made-by-nature, it will be at least five years before businesses fully bounce back and new jobs are created.