Skift Take

Some small businesses in Italy might be the beneficiary of support from an unlikely source in their quest to benefit from a surprising rebound in tourism.

Facebook on Thursday announced a programme to promote the digitalization of small and medium-sized businesses in rural villages in Italy in a bid to help them benefit from an expected recovery in tourism after COVID-19 hit.

One of the most popular travel destinations in the world, Italy is easing travel curbs and restrictions on the hospitality sector to help the country recover from the pandemic.

Under an agreement with the Italian Touring Club, Facebook will offer firms located in some 252 rural villages online courses and other digital tools to improve the visibility of businesses such as bed and breakfasts and craft products shops on online platforms.

Italy, which derives some 13 percent of its economic output from tourism, suffered a 64 percent fall in tourist numbers in the first nine months of 2020, according to latest data by national statistics agency Istat.

Copyright (2021) Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions

(Reporting by Elvira Pollina; editing by David Evans)

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Tags: coronavirus recovery, facebook, italy, small businesses

Photo Credit: Houses in a village in Italy's Piedmont region. Megan Mallen / Wikimedia Commons