Organized tourism, time is up. Urgent measures, now or never

Uncertainty and difficulties, today there is no more time for these words. Organized tourism associations, from Astoi in Fiavet, Fto, Aidit, Assoviaggi and Maavi they join together to raise the last cry of alarm and demand urgent targeted interventions, immediately. Data in hand emerges a bleak picture.

The trips of Italians to foreign countries recorded a decrease of 92% in 2021, while business travel has lost three quarters of its turnover and the events sector loses 80% of its business. The incoming has also collapsed, the presence of foreigners has fallen by 54%, while school tourism still seems to be blocked. The organized tourism sector is the only one to have remained stationary throughout the pandemic: a sector of our economy that invoiced 13.3 billion in 2019, which has seen a collapse to around 3 billion in 2020 and will close 2021 in a situation even worse, probably around 2.5 billion in revenues, with a reduction of more than 80%.

“They have to get us back to work: tourism is not a whim – it intervenes decisively Pier Ezhaya, president Astoi -. We ask the ministers Travaglia, Franco, Orlando and Speranza to listen to our requests. Our companies are succumbing Nobody in Italy is aware of the gravity of the crisis facing tour operators and travel agencies. From February 2020 to December 2021 we lost 21 billion of turnover out of 26 billion. We are collapsing, we urgently need consistent relief from losses and concrete actions. The government must take responsibility for securing organized tourism or for letting it die ”.

All the associations agree on the very urgent needs to be implemented immediately, also using the vehicle of the 2022 Budget law and ask: the refinancing of the fund for tour operators and travel agencies for 2021, at least for 500 million; the extension of the redundancy fund for the tourism sector in June 2022, so that companies in the sector that are still stationary can use it for their employees; the extension of the rental tax credit, to extend the tax credit on commercial leases and business leases and assignments until June 30, 2022. But above all the removal of the ban on travel for tourism and greater use of effective security protocols, in order to reward immunized travelers, or the opening of numerous tourist corridors. Also, it must be created of a bridging loan of at least 24 months at zero interest, to allow businesses to redeem vouchers that will expire soon. Companies no longer have liquidity.

Franco Gattinoni, president of the Federation of Organized Tourism of Confcommercio (Fto) points the finger on aid: “To date we have not had enough support for over 18 months of inactivity by decree. Organized tourism is a sector destined to collapse, unless urgent action is taken “.

Ivana Jelinic, president of Fiavet Confcommercio looks far ahead and warns: “International multinationals take advantage of our uncertainty to get their hands on Italian tourism, and groups buy important companies at low figures and push small ones to close. We are in danger of seeing companies desertification. If the state ignores this urgency, there is a risk of selling off the most beautiful industry we have to those who can afford it ”.

Per Enrica Montanucci, national president Maavi Conflavoro Pmi, “it is necessary for the Ministry of Economy to immediately implement a 24-month bridging loan to allow companies to survive. It is no mystery that our companies are short of cash. Banks press. And we join the risks of layoffs: a social bomb to which it is urgent to give answers “.

Domenico Pellegrino, president of Aidit Federturismo of Confindustria, calculates: “The very low international mobility costs Italy about 100 billion euros in 2020, two thirds of which are due to the lower tourist spending in Italy and a third due to the lower added tourist value. The closures of 2021 are expected to be even worse“.

Gianni Rebecchi, president of Assoviaggi, underlines the problem of work instead: “Among the tragedies of possible unemployment in the sector, an important fact also emerges: 60,000 are women who could lose their jobs. Without immediate government intervention, the story of an entire sector that has always contributed to the economy of our country over the last 50 years ends ”.