Confcommercio: tour operators and travel agencies are on their knees

Carlo Sangalli

The current year will close with disastrous data for Italian tourism with at least 60 million arrivals and 120 million presences that will miss the call compared to 2019 and 13 million fewer trips by Italians abroad; only for the holidays between Christmas, New Year and Epiphany, compared to the 25 million departures scheduled by the Italians just a few months ago, 5 million have already been canceled and 5.3 million modified by reducing vacation days or choosing a closer destination, but there are also 7 million trips that remain pending; in anticipation, therefore, fewer tourists who take holidays, fewer nights and less spending, a mix that generates dramatic prospects in particular for tour operators, travel agencies and the hospitality system. Without forgetting the exponential growth in the last few days of cancellations in catering and the dramatic situation in the entertainment sector with the closure of the activities. In this situation, it is evident that the Government must support these components of the tourism sector in particular by adopting measures on social safety nets, without increasing costs for businesses, and on access to credit, but also fiscal interventions and non-repayable contributions parameterised to the losses suffered: this is what we read in a note from Confcommercio that “photographs” the situation of tourism on the basis of a survey carried out in collaboration with SWG and on Istat and Bankitalia data.

At the expense of the escalation of epidemic indices and restrictions – continues the note – it is not only the numbers of tourists but also the type of travel chosen, essentially the expense, which is the most sensitive element for the economy of the country system. At Christmas 6 out of 10 respondents were away from home for a maximum of 2 days without leaving their region, while only 5% went abroad. Data are in line with regard to the length of the holiday even on New Year’s Eve, when however those who will take holidays of four days or more – 4 out of 10 – will also go outside the region. However, the figure on the forecast of travel abroad remains low: 8% between New Year’s Eve and Epiphany, against values ​​that normally, in this period, went over 20%. In this situation, the possible recovery of tourism moves to summer 2022, in more than 6 months and almost 30 from the start of the crisis.

Tour operators and travel agencies are on their knees, stopped for two years now, hotels and restaurants risk a new collapse due to canceled reservations due to the resurgence of Covid. Confcommercio urgently and urgently asks for the extension of the redundancy fund granted to the activities stopped due to the health emergency, expiring on December 31st, at least until June, the deduction for work reintegration for the organized tourism sector that counts at least 40 thousand employees and made up of a high percentage of micro-enterprises with fewer than five employees, which therefore have no other instrument to protect employment levels, and certain and immediate compensation for discos, the only ones to pay the consequences of the new pandemic emergency with the closure by decree.

The Covid crisis – declared the president of Confcommercio Carlo Sangalli – is impacting more and more on the entire tourism supply chain with thousands of companies that really risk closure, especially hotels, tour operators and travel agencies. The resources deployed so far by the Government are not sufficient, more support is needed and urgent, the extension of the layoffs and adequate tax moratoriums. An Italian economy is unthinkable without the fundamental driving force of tourism ”.

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Confcommercio: tour operators and travel agencies are on their knees

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