On the one hand, the omicron variant of the covid 19 virus which caused the dramatic fourth wave of infections right in the middle of the Christmas holidays. On the other hand, a growing economic crisis that continues to penalize companies throughout the tourism sector. In this not very reassuring scenario, it was difficult to expect a boom in departures among Italians on the weekend of the Epiphany.
Although the calendar offers a great opportunity to plan a holiday, foreseeing the Epiphany festivity on Thursday, there will not be that great full house that could have been expected on another occasion.
Something is moving, but with no attendance record. The mountain “resists” until January 9 (it is an average occupancy rate of 60%) but for the following periods there are very few bookings. No location announces “sold out”. The cities of art are at an all-time low, on average below 30%. Foreign tourism is almost absent and the prices themselves are falling. At the seaside and lakes, many of the structures that were usually kept open for the holidays have been closed after New Year’s Eve or have not even opened at all.
“The situation is dramatic – says Bernabò Bocca, president of Federalberghi – There is great concern. The sector does not live only on the Christmas holidays, a period which, however, has not already been able to offer great performances. Hospitality entrepreneurs are extremely alarmed by the scenario that will arise from mid-January onwards. Oppressed by the difficulties caused by the pandemic and by the additional restrictive measures imposed by the government that deter foreign tourism arrivals, they struggle to see the light at the end of the tunnel, being Italy a country whose tourism normally produces 13% of the GDP and living for over 50% of tourism from abroad “.
“The demand from abroad is at its lowest – continues Bocca – and the situation has worsened following the impossibility of welcoming in the hotel those who have been vaccinated with a vaccine not recognized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Furthermore, the total absence of reservations for the next few months makes any planning for company activities impossible: so we have darkness in front of us “.
We must not forget, reminds Federalberghi, that many structures are closed and many will close again, also in consideration of the considerable increase in management costs (primarily gas and electricity).
“Businesses are at the end of their strength also due to the lack of state support – concludes Bocca – Already in the second half of 2021 the tax credit on rents and the exemption from payment of the IMU ceased to exist, while the December 31, the moratorium on mortgages and the covid layoffs ended. At this rate it will be almost impossible for our companies to imagine a future “.
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