Thanks to the Mediterranean refugee crisis, this year’s vacation season on Lampedusa is not working out very well. In fact, it’s not working out at all.
But before we get to that story, here’s a new report on the enrichment situation in Sicily, where a group of African migrants were refused residence in a hotel:
Hotel in Ogliastra Rejects 18 Refugees
(AGI) Cagliari — A hotel in Lanusei (Ogliastra) rejected 18 African refugees, of the group of 52 that landed this morning.
The hotel manager initially offered to give them shelter, having reached an agreement with Sardinia’s civil defence. The six families with children, the first refugees of the 436 landed in Sardinia and to be given shelter in Ogliastra, were then transferred — following the intervention of the Provincial Council and of Social Services councillor Beniamino Lai — to a hotel in Girasole.
And now for the vacation news from Lampedusa. The island — which has been overwhelmed with more than 40,000 culture enrichers from Africa so far this year — is no one’s favorite holiday destination this summer. In fact, a lot of people wouldn’t even vacation there for free.
Here’s the story from Europe News, as translated by JLH:
Italians Will Not Accept a Lampedusa Vacation Even If It Is Free
June 30,2011 posted by hd on unzensuriert.at
The Italian government’s efforts to stimulate tourism on the island of Lampedusa with the help of TV spots as well as a visit from superstar Angelina Jolie, reported on by the media, have apparently not been able to convince the public. So reports the independent French news agency. Novopress.
According to a poll on summer vacation trends among Italians, which was published by the lobbying group of the tourism concern, Confesercenti, almost a third of Italians (29%) would refuse a free vacation on Lampedusa, 22% would go “with some trepidation.” Fewer than half of those polled would only take a vacation in Lampedusa if it was free. The poll did not even ask how many would pay for their vacation.
These numbers are that much more convincing, since, 3 of 10 Italians do not want to take any vacation this year because of the continuing crisis (in 2010, it was 2 of 10). This year only 33.5 million Italians are making a vacation trip, versus 39 million in 2010. 52% of those asked will take their vacation in Italy.
Money back if vacationers see immigrants.
The poll caused consternation among the hoteliers of Lampedusa, since attempts had already been made to reassure potential customers. “We are prepared to give tourists their money back if they see an immigrant on the street.” said Antonio Martello, chair of the local hotel organization. “A ship is always standing by in the harbor to take immigrants away a few hours after their arrival. The crisis of recent months is completely over and the government deserves credit for putting in a system that functions perfectly.”
But the effect hoped for by the tourist businesses was clearly missing. In June, bookings fell 90% versus the same month in 2010. An 80% decline is forecast for July.
For previous posts about the Mediterranean refugee crisis, see The Camp of the Saints Archive.
Hat tip for the AGI article: C. Cantoni.