Many people only know the island of Elba as a place of Napoleon’s exile, or perhaps from the palindrome “able was I, ere I saw Elba.”
However, the island may soon have a boost in its profile, after the Italian holiday spot decided to begin an initiative where vacationers would not have to pay their hotel tabs on days in which it rained, according to Travel + Leisure.
The move comes as more and more places are finding ways to entice tourists, as social media has lead to a surge in foreign travel. The Italian island, which lies just off the coast of Tuscany, is known for its beautiful beaches, stunning topography, and fantastic food and wine. However, the new pledge may be a clever gambit to grab headlines, as the island receives only around 629 mm, or under 25 inches, of precipitation annually, according to Climate-Data.org.
The new initiative even has its own website, though it is written in Italian. The site has a list of participating hotels which have agreed to offer the no rain “guarantee.” This guarantee states that “the overnight stay is free for days when there is rainfall for more than two hours between 10:00 a.m. and and 8:00 p.m.”
Elba has become particularly popular in recent years as a destination for wine aficionados and foodies, as the country has been a historical stopping point in the Mediterranean for foreign sailors who put their exotic spin on traditional Italian food.
However, the “Elba No Rain” pledge is only available for another week, so those interested better book fast.
Though Elba is looking to entice holiday travelers to its small island, the rest of Italy may not be so tourist-friendly. According to The Local, Italy is dealing with a record number of tourists — to the point that the beautiful country may be overloaded with visitors. There were over 420 million tourists in 2017, a 4.4 percent increase from the year before and a number well above the European average.
Most tourists come from other European countries, and nearly 15 percent come from Germany alone. According to the article, 12 percent of the national GDP and 13 percent of Italian jobs come from the tourism industry.
The number of tourists has become so enormous that anti-tourism movements are growing, particularly in popular cities like Venice and Rome.
Italy is not the only destination popular with vacationers. According to Business Insider, the most popular holiday destination, Bangkok, boasted a whopping 21.47 million overnight visitors in 2016. London took second place with 19.88 million and Paris placed third at 18.03 million.