Italy Spends $10.5 Million on Official Tourism Website

Anyone knows that 8.6 million euro (about $10.5 million) is a helluva budget for any website. That’s how much Italy’s tourism portal has cost Italian taxpayers so far, according to public documents looked up by Il Fatto Quotidiano.

But considering how important tourism is for Italy’s economy, maybe we could cut Tourism Minister Michela Vittoria Brambilla some slack and say: “Hey, at least they’re investing the taxpayers’ money to attract more visitors to Italy.”

Wrong.

All that money has been wasted, thrown out the window (or more likely shoved down some people’s pockets).

The website I am talking about is www.italia.it: An embarrassing display of the current government’s ineptitude when it comes to innovation. You’d think they would have learned from their past mistakes.

Most sections within the site are just a few paragraphs long, with one small picture and very few links. Videos are all in Italian without subtitles, no matter what language you choose.

Oh, and the layout is pathetic.

Here are a few differences I’ve noticed after just quickly going through the tourism portals of Spain and Germany:

Languages available:

Spain – 14
Germany – 22
Italy – 6

Country settings (meaning the site will present you data based on where you’re from):

Spain – 29
Germany – 35
Italy – 6

Hotel booking available on the website:

Spain – Yes
Germany – Yes
Italy – No

Flight search and booking:

Spain – Yes
Germany – Yes
Italy – No

Newsletters:

Spain – Yes
Germany – Yes
Italy – No

Who built and takes care of the website:

Spain: SEGITTUR
Germany: department-x
Italy: No one knows.

No one knows… that’s also true for the $10.5 million. Where did it go?

No one knows.

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