As the summer season approaches, countries are looking for ways to save the tourism industry after months of suffering. The coming months are crucial, especially for countries that are heavily dependent on the sector, such as Italy.
In this context, tour operators on the Apennine Peninsula have mixed feelings about the upcoming season. It should also be noted that the mood varies considerably across the country, and although some regions are optimistic, others are somewhat worse.
EU green pass for the revival of tourism
Some optimism in some regions is mainly related to the initiative recently initiated by the European Union, which was also confirmed in more detail by the country’s Minister of Tourism Massimo Garavaglia.
According to him, “this special document at the European level will allow maximum protection against Kovid.” Garavalla also confirmed that the intention of European tourism ministers is to start the so-called green pass by the summer.
This pass will have several functions. First, it will show whether a person has been vaccinated against Covid-19 or not. Secondly, it will confirm whether the person has contracted the virus in the past, and thirdly, it will show whether the person has not had a negative test for Covid-19.
Tuscany and Emilia-Romagna are optimistic
Meanwhile, resorts and tourist facilities are preparing for the summer season. Emilia-Romagna is expected to be sold out this year. According to the regional tourism adviser, “in July and August, everything will be sold out on both the Riviera and the Apennines, especially for domestic tourists.”
The same can be said about Tuscany. Especially in Versilia, one of the capitals of Italian maritime tourism and a landmark for the region. Optimism is mainly due to the success of the vaccination campaign, but also to the growing number of reservations over the past couple of weeks.
Rome and Campania in difficult situations
In Lazio, prices for holiday homes in the most popular places on the Lazio coast have risen by almost 40%. The same can be said for luxury villas, which are already booked before Easter for the summer.
Meanwhile, the situation in Rome is somewhat more complicated. Many accommodations are closing for Easter due to lack of reservations and tourists, and it is unknown what the situation will look like in the coming months.
The campaign is also in a more problematic position given the summer season. According to experts, the situation is very complicated, and forecasts are not positive at the moment.
Uncertainty in Sardinia, Puglia and Sicily
In Sardinia, meanwhile, the tourism industry has freed itself from any progress in the month of April to June. The first caveats can be noted from mid-June.
According to experts in the region, in the coming days will require a sharp acceleration of planning, otherwise there will be a catastrophe in Sardinia, and many companies will be forced to go through a similar holiday season as in 2020.
On the other hand, Puglia still suffers from few air connections due to restrictions that have forced carriers to drastically reduce the number of flights. Although the region usually boasts 18-19 million tourists arriving each year, today it seems impossible to reach such figures.
Regional experts say there is some interest in Salento, Valle d’Itria and Gargano, but the reservation numbers do not give the industry confidence. The situation looks even worse than last year, when the sector largely saved the domestic market.
Sicilians also face a lot of uncertainty, with some experts in the field describing the situation as “completely blocked”. Some even go so far as to say that the collapse is “beyond imagination”, mainly because Sicily cannot offer international guarantees compared to other regions.
In general, the above clearly shows that the regions of Italy are not the same in terms of prospects for the upcoming summer season. Some are more optimistic and others are more reserved or pessimistic. Undoubtedly, however, it is that things can change very quickly based on many factors, ranging from state and regional policies to the success of vaccination campaigns.