Record-breaking May for Italian tourism. In the fifth month of 2022, the number of overnight stays in hotels in the Belpaese exceeded those recorded in the same month of 2019 by 33.4 percent. For the first time, since the pandemic, the numbers are higher for both Italians and foreigners. And it is precisely to the latter that we owe the boom: in May guests from across the border exceeded those arriving in May 2019 by 45.8 percent, while Italians grew “barely” by 13.5 percent. A figure that, thanks to international flows, improves that of April, in which the overall balance was +10.5 per cent, but with foreigners still relatively little present (-26.3%).
These are the data that emerge from a survey by Federalberghi, Nexi and Zucchetti which photographs the attendance and expenses of tourists in hotels and favorite destinations and which was presented on the occasion of the hoteliers’ council in Procida, the Italian capital of culture. 2022
Not only is the number of visitors recovering, but also the expenses of tourists. According to Nexi, the PayTech analysis shows that in May 2022 they grew overall by 13.7% compared to May 2019, specifically by + 25.6% for Italians and 9% for foreigners. “The recovery of expenses in hotels is an encouraging sign, as tourism is one of the fundamental assets for the economy of our country and confirms how digital payment tools are chosen by an increasing number of merchants and citizens who prefer them for the comfort, safety and speed they guarantee “says Enrico Trovati of Nexi.
The positive trend of the last two months has not yet cleared the initial gap, so much so that the January-May balance still records a minus 3.1 for Italians, and a minus 6.8 for foreigners. “We are confident that the good performances achieved by the Easter holidays and the long weekends of April 25 and June 2 are the prelude to a positive summer – affirmed Alessandro Nucara, general manager of Federalberghi – and that the second part of the year will allow us to at least in part alleviate the wounds inflicted on businesses over the past two tragic years, which we want to put behind us as soon as possible “.
Italians at home even now that they can choose
“There is an unexpected recovery in tourism in terms of numbers, we were sure that after two years of imprisonment there would be a recovery, but not with these numbers – said with satisfaction the president of Federalberghi Bernabò Bocca -.” This – he explains – is due to a large influx of American tourism: they have started traveling again, they love Italy and have returned to Italy. But the thing that makes us most proud – he underlines – is the Italian public. Last year we saved the season thanks to Italian tourism or the Italians stayed in Italy because they couldn’t travel. We are proud to say that this year that compatriots can travel, they are staying in Italy anyway and continue to take holidays within the national borders. This was demonstrated by the data of 2 June when almost 90% of Italians stayed here. The local market for us is the first tourist market. It is often useless to go looking for the tourists of the world, we have to keep the Italians in Italy and we have succeeded “.
Americans compensate for Russian and Chinese absence
“The effects of the war in Ukraine at the moment are not very great, I would say. Of course we do without some types of tourists such as Russians and Ukrainians – says Bocca -.” Furthermore, for Covid – he explains – there is a total lack of the Chinese, Japanese and Far East markets. We have always considered them the “market of tomorrow” and in 2018-2019 it was becoming the “market of today”. However – concludes Bocca – American and Italian tourism are compensating very well “.
Missing workforce: the faults of citizenship income
The paradox of vacant posts after pandemic closures and reopenings eased the enthusiasm. “It is a contradiction that we have a country that has a 10% unemployment rate and there is no staff anywhere – said the president of Federalberghi -. Something is not working, it is not just the income of citizenship but a solution must be found as soon as possible “. “More stringent checks must be made – says Bocca – because it is a right measure for the classes that need it, for fathers of families who have lost their jobs but people have to get used to working again. It is enough to say that some jobs Italians do not they are more willing to do it and that it is necessary to increase the flow of foreigners In the hotel sector there is not a problem of low salaries but of company costs: to give 1,000 euros net to a worker, the cost for the company is 30,000. It is not possible: it is necessary to intervene heavily on the tax wedge, that is, it is necessary to put more money in the pockets of workers without increasing labor costs for the company, and at least de-tax overtime, de-tax some parts of the salary for those who want to work “.
“There are more and more cases – explains Bocca – of hoteliers who feel no to job offers from young people. Taking the citizenship income and doing the extras in the black on weekends (not in hotels), they work 8 days a month and they bring home 1,400-1,500 euros. The consequences are that hotels are unable to fill the rooms 100% and today we have to give up customers, turnover, VAT and taxes due to the lack of staff “.
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