It is not a surprise to anyone that the coronavirus has hit the tourism sector especially hard. In Milan, for example, the monumental complex of the Duomo, which includes the terraces and the museum in addition to the cathedral, recorded -93% of tourists in the first half of this year compared to 2019. The data was provided by the general manager of the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo, Fulvio Pravadelli, during the press conference to illustrate the new initiatives implemented by the body responsible for the conservation and enhancement of the Milan cathedral for the summer.
“We close the first half of 2021 with a decrease of -93% compared to 2019 in tourists. Three months of this semester, up to April, we were closed due to the pandemic. The last month of June – he explained – we had some improvements compared to the opening we made in May. Significant improvements: to say a fact, in the last weekend of June we had more than 7,000 people in two days, and when we started these people we had seen them in maybe two weeks . So I would say that there are some signs of improvement, certainly the data compared to 2019 are very different but we are starting to see some light. Surely – concluded Pravadelli – we hope for a slightly more positive summer “.
“There is an air of recovery, the numbers are still small, however, if compared with those of 2019. Better to hope than to have nothing, 2019 was a good year”, confirmed Fedele Confalonieri, president of the Veneranda Fabbrica. of the Duomo.
Tourism will return to standard levels between 2022 and 2024
On the tourism front, according to the “Your next Milano” research presented by the study center of Assolombarda and Milano & Partners, in 2020 there were just two million and 200 thousand arrivals in the metropolitan city: -73% compared to 2019. Passengers arriving or in departures from Milan airports were 13.3 million, compared to over 49 million in 2019. It will be 2024 the year in which tourism in Milan will return to pre-covid levels.
Ruthless data obviously determined by the lockdown and the strong limitations in travel. The prospects say that tourism from Italy will return to pre-Covid levels in 2022, while the international one will have to wait until 2024. However, Milan is confirmed as a university city: in fact, the enrollments of international students in Milanese universities grow by 5.6% for the year 2020/2021, equal to 5,400 more foreign students. The pandemic does not therefore stop the rapid internationalization process of the Milanese university center in recent years, which already concentrated 14,600 international students in 2019, with an incidence of 6.7% of the total enrolled students.
The future of Milan therefore hinges on attractiveness and inclusiveness, seen as strategic assets to be adapted to the new context, towards companies, capital, governments, tourists.