Italy Tourism Trade Associations Outraged with Government Recovery Plan
No Importance for Tourism
The government contribution to the tourism sector outrages the Italy tourism trade associations following the recent approval of the draft by the Council of Ministers on the Recovery Plan. The plan allocates 3.1 billion euros of the total 196 envisaged by the plan to the sector, considered in the 48.7 identified for the “digitization and innovation” macro-area.
Bernabò Bocca, President of Federalberghi, commented through state TV: “The only thing we share about the document examined in the Council of Ministers is the word draft. To tourism, a sector that is worth over 13% of the GDP and in words is defined as strategic for the development of the country, little attention is paid, with a small financial endowment, moreover oriented almost only to the great tourist-cultural attractions.”
The plan needs an urgent review, said Bocca, “by providing a line of intervention aimed at supporting the redevelopment of the entire tourism offer system. If the government has no ideas, call the companies to the table, and there will be proposals. It should openly be declared in the plan that the resources earmarked for the efficiency of private construction are also intended for the redevelopment of production properties.”
The Vice President of Confindustria Alberghi, Maria Carmela Colaiacovo, explained how the 3.1 billion is to be shared, among other things, with culture. “The hotel sector alone in 2020 has already lost over 16 billion, 80% of turnover. It is clear that these are completely insufficient resources and far from the needs of one of the leading sectors of the Italian economy.
“The companies that manage to survive this crisis will find themselves in the coming years fighting with blunt weapons on an increasingly competitive global market,” she said.
If there is no strong, structured, and medium-long term plan to accompany companies and upgrade the product, “Italy will be destined to succumb in comparison with other countries that are supporting their companies with important resources. At this point we must ask ourselves if Italy believes in tourism,” concluded the Vice President.
Federturismo Confindustria (the National Federation of the Travel and Tourism Industry) also reacted, when its spokespersons expressed the association’s indignation and anger “for yet another mockery. It is genuinely scandalous how we do not perceive the added value that this sector could give to the restart of work, territories, and industrial production itself. The tourism industry is an extraordinary activator of dozens of manufacturing chains in every segment of the economy, but this fact taken for granted in many other countries seems impossible to make Italian administrators understand.
“And [we] ask the government to stop fooling around and making fun of us, telling clearly to the 60 million annual visitors that the tourism industry is not a priority for Italy.”
In the Recovery Plan, in addition to digitization and innovation, ther is funding for the green revolution and the ecological transition (74.3 billion); infrastructure for sustainable mobility (27.7 billion); education and research (19.2 billion); gender equality (17.1 billion); and health care (9 billion).