One Italian town is getting creative with its tourist initiatives.
Italy is a frequent choice for honeymoons or other romantic getaways. With its breathtaking landscapes, temperate climate, and abundance of wine, the country is a natural desitnation for those in love.
And one Italian town hopes to reward visitors for their lovemaking.
By returning with a birth certificate that shows a child was born nine months—give or take ten days—after their stay, a couple can either be reimbursed by the hotel or return for a free stay depending on the location, The Local Italy reported.
Related: Cilento Coast Travel Guide
The campaign is intended to highlight low fertility rates in Italy, where the rate has halved in the past 50 years. With the lowest birthrate in the European Union and one of the lowest in the world, Italy has looked to encourage conception through a variety of programs in the past few years, to varying degrees of success. And with varying degrees of controversy.
Assisi is the birthplace to 13th century Franciscan friar St. Francis of Assisi, who would become the inspiration for Pope Francis' namesake. Some former and current city officials have objected to the program, given the Catholic tradition of the city, and distanced themselves from it. One former mayor of Assisi called the project “incongruous” with local values. Italian women have also pushed back against the campaign, which critics have said encourages conception without offering meaningful support once a child is born.
For now, though, the program is set to continue.