Boom in US and UK bookings
As coronavirus rates improve across the country (13,446 new cases and 263 deaths in the past 24 hours), Italy – and Italians – are starting to plan for the summer season and select their vacation destinations. Seaside areas, in particular, are starting to see a sharp increase in the number of bookings. According to Federbalneari Alberghi, an association of beach hotels, in July and August, many destinations are already on the verge of selling. And that includes foreign tourism. In fact, many tourists are expected to arrive especially from the United States and the United Kingdom, as Stefano Bettanin, president of Property Managers Italia, an association for the rental of private homes, explains to the daily Corriere della Sera.
âVaccines are a crucial factor, because we see that a mass vaccination campaign has very practical economic consequences. From our portfolio we see many bookings coming from UK and USA. These are obviously countries where vaccines have been widely administered, so now that people feel more confident, they want to go back to travel, âBettanin explained.
Among the country’s main destinations for summer holidays in 2021 are the islands of Sardinia and Sicily and the region of Puglia. According to data from Property Managers Italia, the British seem to book especially in the region of Valle d’Itria, and more specifically in Alberobello, a small town in Puglia famous for its trullo houses (a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996 ). While Palermo and CefalÃ¹ are at the top of the list in terms of number of bookings in the Sicily region.
According to Property Managers, thanks to the possibility for employees to work from anywhere, the average length of stay this summer will be longer: “Foreigners find there lower prices compared to their country and a better quality of life” , explains Bettanin. Data from the association also suggests that tourists are looking for larger spaces and independent housing solutions, rather than booking accommodation in city centers. In this sense, mass tourism is already appearing as a distant memory, while the choice of privacy and a tranquil garden seems to be the key to summer in Italy in 2021. âCustomers are looking for authentic experiences: inside a “baglio” in Sicily, a “trullo” In Puglia, or villas in Veneto, “says Bettanin.
Due to health precautions, booking projections also indicate how visitors look for options to limit contact with hosts. Although home applications and technology, remote recordings and settings are rapidly gaining ground and will likely become commonplace in the coming months.
While Italian beach destinations hope to get back on track this summer, it’s no surprise that major tourist towns continue to suffer severely from the loss of tourism. Cities like Florence, Venice and Rome, for example, have lost as much as 64% of tourism revenue, and most of the rest (Milan, Naples and Verona, among others) have fallen by 50% or more. In a country like Italy, where tourism accounts for around 13% of the national GDP, it is of the utmost importance that cultural destinations are also able to compensate for their losses.
In this regard, the so-called âGreen Passâ that the European Union seeks to implement to allow people vaccinated, who have recovered from the virus or who test negative to travel freely on the continent, is considered to be a light at the end of the tunnel and one of the main hopes for sustaining the summer season.
“We expect to [Tourism] Minister Massimo Garavaaglia a strong push on the special European document that will allow an international movement, without Covid â, said Marco Maurelli, president of Federbalneari.