Tourism, Bank of Italy: work, turnover and debt is the sector most affected by the pandemic

(Teleborsa) – In 2020 the pandemic led to an intense decline in flows tourist throughout the national territory. If between 2010 and 2019 in Italy the tourist presences in the structures receptive had grown at an average annual rate of 1.5%, in 2020 the attendance contracted by 52.3% and the decline affected both the national component (-33.8%) and, to a more marked extent, the foreign (-70.3%), which in 2019 represented half of the attendances. This is what emerges from the new publication of the Bank of Italy its “The tourism sector and the Covid-19 pandemic“. The decrease, the study highlighted, concerned to a greater extent the international component, the areas most oriented to cultural tourism and, among the geographical areas, the Center and the South where foreign presences collapsed most (- 80.4% and -81.4% respectively).

In the northern areas, the decrease in foreigners was smaller in connection with the greater weight of travel for business reasons and local international tourism. In particular, in the North the trend of international tourist flows benefited above all from the greater resilience of the presence of German tourists (whose incidence on the total of presences in the North East remained higher than a fifth also in 2020), French and Swiss. The measures of containment of the spread of the coronavirus and the fear of contagion have been reflected in a drastic drop in passenger traffic in the airports Italians (-72.6% nationwide). Passenger performance reflected the evolution of the pandemic and restrictions on people’s mobility: after the substantial zeroing during the first wave of infections in the spring months, the number of passengers had slightly increased in summer, reaching 37% in August. of the level of the same month of 2019; in the months autumnal, during the second wave of the pandemic, traffic began to decrease again and in December the number of passengers was equal to 13% of that of the same month of the previous year.

The pandemic crisis has resulted in a deterioration of conditions occupational and in a contraction of the sales in the tourism sector more marked than in the other sectors. If between 2010 and 2019 the number of employees in the tourism sector grew by 2.2% on average per year, in 2020 the number of employees in the sector fell by 11.4% (-1.2% for the rest of the economy), contributing more than two-fifths of the overall decline in total sectors. The loss of jobs was not homogeneous between categories of workers: in fact, the decrease in employment was mainly affected by the term component, which decreased by 31.5% on average for the year, while the impact on permanent employment was been mitigated by blocking of layoffs and from the use of the Earnings redundancy fund. The repercussions of the epidemic on the activity of the tourism sector were reflected in a drastic drop in turnover and profitability. According to the data available at national level, in 2020 the turnover of joint-stock companies operating in the accommodation, catering and entertainment sectors would have contracted by 40%, about four times the reduction recorded for the average of companies.

Despite the pandemic crisis has not yet had a negative impact on the number of active businesses and on the quality of credit, thanks to the government’s moratoriums and support measures, for companies in the tourism sector the greatest financial leverage on the eve of the pandemic is the highest increase in lending in 2020 could induce a risk of over-indebtedness. Recourse to the moratoriums and guarantees provided for by public interventions was more intense than in other sectors in all areas of the country. Overall, the amount disbursed through the State Treasury managed by the Bank of Italy in favor of the sub-fund was equal in 2020 to 3.3 billion euros. In the decade preceding the pandemic crisis, the dynamics of loans granted by banks and financial companies to companies in the tourism sector had been weak overall: between 2010 and 2019, credit had reduced to an average annual rate of 0.8%. The pandemic had a significant impact on the dynamics of the credit which, on the basis of data from the Central Credit Register, at a national level increased by 13.5% in the tourism sector, more strongly than in the other sectors (4.2).

At the end of 2020, 79.4% of the companies in the tourism sector surveyed in AnaCredit used at least one of the two measures at national level, a share 20 percentage points higher than the other sectors. Similarly to other companies, membership of the moratorium by tourism companies it has been very widespread since their introduction: by the end of June, over 40% of companies had already benefited from it. Access to loans backed by public guarantees, on the other hand, has gradually grown to affect 70% of companies at the end of 2020. The incidence of loans on a moratorium or backed by Covid-19 guarantees at the end of 2020, it was 48.6% at the national level for the tourism sector (21 percentage points more than other companies).

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