Italian PM sponsors tourism in government spot

08:42, July 08, 2010      

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The Italian government launched on Wednesday an institutional spot aimed at boosting domestic tourism and featuring Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi as speaker.

It's the first time a premier turns into anchorman to promote his country's natural and artistic beauties, said a note from his office.

The 30-second spot, created by the Presidency of Council and the Tourist Ministry headed by Michela Vittoria Brambilla, was presented at the government press conference just ahead of the holiday break.

It is directed to all Italian potential tourists in a bid to support internal tourism, which stands as the country's most strategic tool of economic recovery.

The ad shows some of Italy's most fascinating locations, with Berlusconi's voice saying in the background: "Chose Italy for your holidays, because Italy is a unique country made of sky, sun and sea but also of history, culture and art."

Appealing to all Italians, Berlusconi invited them to spend their vacations in their own fatherland, stressing that Italy is "an extraordinary, magical country you still need to discover".

The spot will be broadcasted in coming days on Italy's main television channels, both public and private. July and August in Italy are high season holiday periods, when the majority of Italians take leave from work and all public offices close.

The ad recalls that Italy leads the world for human heritage sites listed by the UNESCO and benefits from the highest concentration in the world of cultural, artistic and naturalistic locations.

The trouble for the government is that not all Italians have visited or are aware of their nations'precious treasures and therefore knowledge must be spread through targeted information campaigns.

Berlusconi believes domestic tourism is a strategic asset that can help revamp Italy's economy and that Italians can contribute to the revival by choosing a national rather than international summer destination.

According to data issued by the Bank of Italy, in 2009 more than 13.771 billion euros were spent by Italians in outbound tourism, thus favoring the economy of foreign countries.

With the institutional spot, and Berlusconi's personal involvement, the government hopes to recover a small percentage of the summer's traditional outbound tourism because directing Italians to national destinations can favor Italy's slow and uncertain recovery in a very delicate moment.

The money spent at home would inevitably remain within national boundaries and contribute to the overall gross domestic product ( GDP), curbing as well the high unemployment level that has reached over 8 percent. Seasonal summer jobs are very important for the south and the two island-regions, Sardinia and Sicily, whose economy primarily relies on tourism.

Source: Xinhua


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