While most holidaymakers are scrambling to get refunds on their booked trips after countries around the world imposed strict travel bans, a group of hotels in Italy, which was at one point the epicentre of Covid-19 in Europe, is encouraging people to book holidays with them.
But far from shamelessly drumming up trade during a crisis, the hotels involved, all situated along the Amalfi coast, are actually hoping to use the initiative to raise money to go towards medical research in the fight against coronavirus.
Four hotels – Le Sirenuse and Il San Pietro in Positano, Palazzo Avino in Ravello and Hotel Santa Catarina in Amalfi – plus the Michelin-starred restaurant Don Alfonso 1890 in Sant’Agnata sui Due Golfi are involved in the scheme.
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Each of the hotels has listed 10 vouchers worth €5,000 (£4,405) for sale, bookable by contacting the hotels directly. The vouchers entitle the holder to a two-night stay for two people at the property, as well as dinner at Don Alfonso 1890, to be redeemed by the end of the holiday season in 2022.
The host hotels will also be laying on extras, such as romantic dinners, spa treatments, cocktail-mixing classes and private tours of the area, The Telegraph reports.
In total, they hope to raise €200,000 (£176,226), which will be donated to the Italy-based G Pascale Foundation, to help with researching a Covid-19 vaccine.
This isn’t the only way the travel industry has clubbed together in the fight against coronavirus.
Hotels around the UK are offering discounted meals for NHS workers as well as the vulnerable.
Some hotels are also offering free accommodation for NHS workers who may need to isolate from their families.
A similar global initiative was also launched by Airbnb, with up to 100,000 homes available around the world for frontline workers.
It comes after the UK Foreign Office updated its travel advice at the weekend, with British citizens now warned against non-essential travel abroad for an “indefinite” period.
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