Italy launches fund to help virus-hit hospitality industry

MILAN, Sept 25 (Reuters) – Italy’s state lender CDP said on Friday it had created a National Tourism Fund to invest up to 2 billion euros ($2.3 billion) in the hotel sector, ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic.

The CDP said it would invest 750 million euros in hotels deemed to be of historic interest, while Italy’s tourism ministry will contribute a further 150 million euros. Other investors will make up the rest.

“Italy has many family-run hotels and small hotel chains… these assets have been put at risk by the pandemic emergency,” Tourism Minister Dario Franceschini said in a statement.

The tourism sector, which accounts for around 13% of GDP, has seen revenue drop by almost 90% in the second quarter, the national statistics institute has said.

The fund will promote investments in the hotels to improve quality standards, CDP said in a statement.

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