by Nathania Zevi
The crisis in Italy is hitting tourism now.
For the first time in the history of Italian tourism, reservations in hotels decreased in August.
As foreigners still consider Italy one of the most attractive holiday destinations, what makes the difference is the devastating decline in the usual number of Italian holidaymakers, oppressed by crisis and taxes.
“ The trend of tourism in Italian hotels in July and August this year (compared to the same period in 2011) shows a two-speed result” says Bernabò Bocca, the President of Federalberghi - which groups Italian hoteliers - commenting data regarding the trend of tourist presence in the Italian hotels in 2012.
“In July,” Bocca adds, “the decrease in reservations was 5%. More specifically, a -8,9%Italians and 0,2% foreigners.”
“In August,” the president of Federalberghi underlines, “the overall presence of tourists recorded was 1,1%, -3% of Italians and + 2,1% of foreigners.”
According to these data, in the first 8 months of 2012, (compared to the same period in 2011,) tourist reservations decreased by 2,6% with a – 5,6% of Italians and a +2,1% of foreigners, with revenues shrinking approximately by 10%, due to a 3 year-price freeze and to tariff policies which are difficult to sustain.
This negative trend has had repercussions on employment as well.
From January to August the sector recorded a -2,6% employed people, more specifically -2,8 employees on long-term contracts and - 2,5% on temporary contracts.
According to Bocca, this negative trend in the sector is compensated by the increase of foreign tourism, especially in some areas of Italy.
“It would be necessary,” he added, ”to focus on the presence of foreign tourists in Italy, as as their absence could get off the ground one of the few sectors that is still able to offer job opportunities.”
“ We urge,” Bocca concluded, “the Government and the Parliament to define a political, legislative and financial reorganization of the sector in order to set on foot thousands of companies working in the tourism sector.”