Home Travel & Adventure Wildfires Threaten Sicily: Tourists Warned Amid Ongoing Evacuations

Wildfires Threaten Sicily: Tourists Warned Amid Ongoing Evacuations


High temperatures across southern Europe have increased the risk of fires and casualties occurring due to the extreme weather in Italy, with many airports shutting down and thousands of residents and tourists being evacuated.

According to Euronews, wildfires in the Italian island of Sicily have spread by strong winds, endangering the life of residents and holidaymakers in the region, which is widely popular for its tourism attractions.

In addition, many airports in the region have forcefully shut down in recent weeks, many of those threatened by nearby wildfires.

Palermo Airport, which also serves as the island’s capital was forced to close early last week, as three villages close to the hub were being captured by wildfires.

In addition, an accidental fire damaged a terminal building at Catania airport, which forced the airport to be partially shut, raising concerns about huge economic losses for tourism.

Soaring temperatures across the island have been recorded this summer, reaching the record temperatures of two summers ago. Catania registered 47.6 Celsius on Monday.

The local media has reported that firefighters have detected and distinguished large areas of the wildfires but those around the cities of Palermo, Messina and Catania remain active.

Three people have died in this region due to the inability to be evacuated while damages are also considerable as a 15th century church of Santa Maria di Gersu in Palermo was affected by flames. According to the local authorities, the wildfires have caused €260 million in damage.

“People cannot BREATHE from how polluted and hot air is, they are being forced on the street because their homes are BURNING,” writes Twitter user Carmen.

The situation is worrying especially as the country has reached remarkable post-pandemic recovery.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council’s (WTTC) 2023 Economic Impact Research (EIR), the tourism sector has contributed €194 billion to the country’s economy by the end of the year.

Julia Simpson, the President and CEO of WTTC confirmed that travel and tourism is one of the main contributors to the economic growth in Italy.

“The sector’s strong recovery is great news for jobs and prosperity across Italy as international visitors return. Over the next ten years, we expect tourism to grow to represent 12 per cent of the Italian GDP,” Simpson stated.

In addition, the industry is expected to increase GDP in Italy to €237 billion by the next decade, as it has increased by 33.4 per cent from the tourism and travel industry.

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Monte OZ
Monte OZ is a highly accomplished and respected international freelance journalist, travel and active adventure reporter, and leading entertainment & lifestyle blogger based in Africa. With a passion for storytelling, a sense of adventure, and an eye for all things captivating, Monte has become a prominent figure in the world of travel, entertainment, and lifestyle journalism. Born and raised in Africa, Monte developed a deep appreciation for the continent's diverse cultures, rich heritage, and vibrant entertainment scene. His upbringing fueled his desire to share Africa's untold stories and showcase its dynamic lifestyle to a global audience. Monte's extensive experience and expertise have made him a sought-after authority on all things related to travel, adventure, entertainment, and lifestyle in Africa. As an international freelance journalist, Monte has made significant contributions to various prestigious publications worldwide. His captivating articles, insightful interviews, and engaging features have graced the pages of leading entertainment magazines, lifestyle publications, and reputable news outlets. Monte's unique ability to capture the essence of Africa's entertainment and lifestyle scene has garnered widespread acclaim and recognition. With a love for exploration and a thirst for adrenaline, Monte also thrives as an active adventure reporter. He has embarked on daring expeditions, immersing himself in Africa's wild landscapes, and documenting his adrenaline-pumping experiences. Whether it's conquering treacherous peaks, exploring remote jungles, or engaging in heart-pounding activities, Monte's adventurous spirit and daring escapades inspire readers to embrace their own sense of adventure. In addition to his work in journalism and adventure reporting, Monte is a leading entertainment & lifestyle blogger in Africa. Through his influential blog, he offers readers an insider's view of the continent's vibrant entertainment scene, trendy hotspots, fashion trends, culinary delights, and cultural experiences. Monte's unique blend of storytelling, personal insights, and expert recommendations has made his blog a go-to resource for entertainment and lifestyle enthusiasts seeking the pulse of Africa's dynamic culture. Beyond his professional pursuits, Monte is a passionate advocate for promoting Africa's talent, creativity, and cultural diversity. He actively supports and champions emerging artists, musicians, designers, and entrepreneurs, helping to showcase their work to a broader audience. Monte's dedication to promoting Africa's vibrant entertainment and lifestyle industry has positioned him as a respected influencer and tastemaker within the African and global entertainment communities. With a commitment to excellence, a passion for exploration, and a talent for captivating storytelling, Monte Oz continues to captivate audiences worldwide. As an international freelance journalist, travel and active adventure reporter, and leading entertainment & lifestyle blogger, his work has left an indelible mark on the world of journalism, travel, and entertainment, solidifying his position as a trusted authority and go-to resource for all things related to African travel, adventure, and lifestyle.