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“SEE SICILY” Voucher program

I came across this article from Forbes that states that Sicily is offering to pay part of Tourist's costs of visiting Sicily. It appears to be a pretty substantial amount that Sicily is willing to cover: half of travelers’ post-coronavirus airline tickets, one out of every three hotel nights, and free tickets to many museums and archaeological sites. I checked Sicily web site
https://www.visitsicily.info/en/see-sicily-voucher-program/ and it states: "We are currentily in the course of defining procedures for the “SEE SICILY” Voucher program."

Does anyone know anything more about this “SEE SICILY” Voucher program? Or when it will be finalized? Also, are there any other offers for 2021 travel to Sicily?

Thanks much!

Posted by
7405 posts

Most of what I find when doing a search, are posts from last summer.

Maybe it was an idea that never reached implementation?

Posted by
7 posts

No, it is clearly a new program for 2021. So my questions still stand.

Posted by
240 posts

The information does mention tourist operators, but I’m wondering if the program will be open also to anyone who wants to visit. It sounds intriguing — and an added bonus would be to purchase one of those Euro 1 properties at the same time!

Posted by
3789 posts

Looks like the program is being extended to end December 2021.

Posted by
4858 posts

Thank you for the information and the link, Anita.. Malta and Gozo have initiated incentives, and it appears Sicily is looking to get some of the ca action. If you’re going to be in the area anyway, this could be enough incentive to include Sicily in the trip to Italy plans. Except does this require going through a travel agent? The link includes

The initiative, which promotes Sicily as an ideal destination for holidays, provides the acquisition, by the Department of Tourism, of services that will be made available through special tourist packages

It also says information for tourist operators who want to participate will be coming soon. Maybe that’s referring to hotel operators and museum ticket administrators, not travel agents???

Posted by
7 posts

They're still accepting hotels and b&b applications till late May, so it would be presumably finalized in June.

Posted by
7 posts

I posted this question in the hope that someone who received the information that the Forbes travel blog posted could explain the this SEE SICILY covers. I do not know what Sicily is doing aside from this very vague entry on its web site. But the Forbes piece stated the following:

*"In a bold (and potentially costly) move, Sicily has announced that it will cover half of travelers’ post-coronavirus airline tickets plus one out of every three hotel nights, as well as free tickets to many museums and archaeological sites. The vouchers will be available on the Visit Sicily website.

This attractive new initiative will cost Sicily more than $50 million, with the money coming from the regional government’s war chest. But the island—which is the largest in the Mediterranean Sea—is keen to attract travelers back to its captivating shores. Since Italy went into lockdown on March 10, Sicily has lost $1.09 billion in revenue, due in large part to the lack of tourism."

So I am hoping that someone who actually received this notice and can expand upon it.

Posted by
2055 posts

@Anita, I was active in the BIT Milano Virtual trade show that ended a couple of days ago. In meetings, I spoke to several Sicilian-based DMC's and none mentioned the SEE SICILY program. My perception is that it just hasn't got off the ground yet. I did read about it in an Italian news article which listed all the travel vendors it would support and they included DMC's, guides, drivers, hotels, tour companies, agriturismos, travel agents, b&b's,.. so all facets of travel. The timeframe was rather vague, sort of "when travel opens up..." There are several initiatives being launched by multiple Italian regions and municipalities to restoke the tourism industry. This article - dated June 2020 - outlines a few: https://www.thelocal.it/20200626/will-sicilys-tourism-voucher-scheme-help-it-survive-the-summer/

I'd suggest reaching out directly to a touring company or DMC operating in Sicily for more info.

Posted by
4858 posts

An Online search brought up this Time Out article, from last September.

https://www.timeout.com/news/visit-sicily-and-the-island-will-help-pay-for-your-trip-090220

It said that the original plan (way back 8 months ago) was to include the half-off airline promotion, but that had been removed, already back then. Also the third-night free part included lodging besides hotels, e.g., agritourismi. And through December 2021 is suggested, too.

Perhaps flight subsidies are back in consideration? Maybe the Time Out article is way obsolete. But either way, this could still be worth pursuing.

If other island regions are offering incentives, I’d love to see Sardinia making overtures to tourists.

Posted by
5203 posts

Just in my looking around, whatever is developed likely will only apply to an approved "package" likely sold by a tour company or agent...not independently planned trips like many do. Point being, you would need to balance the cost of the package, with discounts, with just planning things yourself. But, I could be wrong.

Posted by
2 posts

From what I know, is a voucher that will be valid even for 2022 and it is still in work in progress. Sicily Region is still signing contract with all the hotel and Tours Operator they are taking part to this project. I read Sicily Activities is a company joining this project. Maybe they know something about this.

Posted by
10 posts

I have been working with a travel agent in Sicily over the last couple of weeks to book hotel rooms and excursions related to this program. We are traveling to Sicily in late January’22 for a month and the voucher program is available in 2022. I don’t know how many months in 2022 it will be available.

You have to work with a travel agent from the list on the See Sicily site. I emailed 6 of them for help securing the vouchers and only two responded. The one I’m using responded in 24 hours, the other responded after a week, and nothing from the others. That’s why I contacted several.

There will be discounts on airfare but my travel agent said the details on getting the discounts haven’t been released yet. We had to put the work done on the hotel/excursions vouchers on hold because it all has to be submitted as a package to the program. I would like to get discounts on the airfare as well so we are in a holding pattern.

Denise

Posted by
10 posts

In response to Paul’s post: yes, you have work with a travel agent for hotel stays that qualify for a voucher. You can plan the rest of the trip on your own. I already had most of our itinerary set when this came out but we were doing longer stays, 3 - 4 nights, in Palermo and Syracuse so I switched to a luxury hotel in Palermo for 3 nights and one of those nights will be free. Same with Syracuse. We will do walking tours in both towns as our free excursions. We planned the rest of the trip ourselves.

Denise

Posted by
40 posts

Can you tell me what company you used? It was so confusing I went ahead and booked through booking dot com.

Posted by
10 posts

The company is Sicilian Tourist Service and the email address is info@stsitalia.it. I worked with Carolina. The phone number is 091 361567 if you prefer to contact them by phone. The selection of this company was totally random as I sent emails to several companies in hopes of getting information and help with the program.

Denise

Posted by
1 posts

I have tried to contact three different travel agencies in Catania. Two didn't contact me the other one tried to get me to commit to hotels and their prices that were way over the regular list price. I am going to be in Sicily the very end of August for a month. I will see what I can find out face to face.
Thanks
Rosemary

Posted by
95 posts

just got back from italy, with 28 days spent all over sicily. stayed in airbnb's in palermo, trapani, enna, siracusa, catania and messina. wonderful experience especially in the ones shared with the hosts. i did read about the voucher program before leaving but didn't explore it any further.