The island at the heel of Italy wants to foot the bill for your next holiday.

Sicily wants to refill its empty beaches after the end of the pandemic and to do so it's offering to split costs for tourists to fly in, as well as covering some expenses for accommodation and activities.

The regional government said it has allocated a budget of €50 ($90) to pay half the airfares of incoming tourists after it is safe for visitors to return. According to The Times the government is providing vouchers that will cover attractions and some accommodation once the borders are open again.

Italians could return to the beach in a matter of months. Photo / Unsplash
Italians could return to the beach in a matter of months. Photo / Unsplash

As Italy prepares to ease some lockdown measures on the 4th May opening parks and some takeaway cafes, there is no indication for when international tourism might resume.

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Sicily says it has lost over $1.5 billion in tourism revenue since Italy closed itself off on 10th March.

The Italian minister for culture and tourism, Dario Franceschini, suggested that the wait may be over sooner than expected with Italians being allowed back on the beach by summer. Like most countries Franceschini is hoping for a rebound on domestic travel. "We are making a strong investment in domestic tourism, because this will be a summer of holidays in Italy," he told Il Messagero last week.

This interim period of domestic tourism will allow tourist boards to explore new social distancing measures and trial contact tracing measures before the country's substantially larger international tourism market returns.

Methods proposed by Italian beach resorts include mandatory deckchair reservation and registration as well as time slots for bathers allocated by age in order to isolate at-risk demographics.

According to La Repubblica some have gone as far as to propose Plexiglas barriers between bathers.

It will be a very different experience of La Dolce Vita when international tourists finally return on their subsidised plane tickets.