Hotels in Assisi offer rewards to couples who conceive there

Assisi (Italy), Nov 19 (IANS/AKI) A group of hotels in the historic central Italian city of Assisi on Friday launched an initiative offering a free break or a refund to couples who conceive a child while staying there.

Ten central hotels have already signed up to The ‘Fertility Room’ initiative, aimed at increasing tourism to Assisi and the surrounding Umbria region as well as debate about Italy’s low fertility rate.

“Our country’s low birthrate represents one of the biggest policy challenges in the coming years,” the organisers said in a statement.

“The Fertility Room initiative was spawned in the full awareness that bringing a child into the world is a deeply loving gesture that should be encouraged more and more despite the multitude of difficulties in life,” the statement added.

To claim their free night at the hotels or their refund couples need only send their baby’s birth certificate to prove they were born nine months after the original stay (give or take ten days), according to organisers.

The offer is valid until March 31 next year.

Births in Italy reached a record low last year: an uncertain economic outlook and high youth employment are among factors believed to be behind the decline.

Only eight babies were born for every 1,000 residents in 2015, giving Italy the lowest birthrate in the European Union, according to EU figures.