Tourism restarts in Italy: foreigners return to the cities of art and to the coasts

Last year at the end of June the bookings of Italians for the summer were 44.7%, now they are at 54.7%. But even foreigners are starting to reappear in our cities, islands and beaches. Effect – pending the European green pass and the new rules for intercontinental travel – of Covid tested flights, vaccinations and the relaxation of the measures necessary for entry into Italy, at least for Europeans. From north to south here is an overview of the recovery.

The great restart of tourism, half of the Italians have booked

by Rosaria Amato, Viola Giannoli

06 June 2021


Big events and culture, so tourists return to Venice

VENEZIA – The Architecture Biennale, the Boat Show, the reopening of museums, including the Doge’s Palace. Major events and culture bring tourists back to Venice, especially on weekends, with peaks of 50,000 arrivals a day. Many are day visitors, Italians who arrive by train or car from nearby cities. But even the hotels in the historic center are starting to fill up. Almost seven out of ten those reopened. Vaporetti full and the Guardians returned to service in the Marciana area to inform tourists and avoid picnics in front of the Basilica or on the steps of the Procuratie.

“Events such as the Biennale and the Boat Show (Sunday 6 is the last day, ed), created with courage, were the starter of the tourist recovery”, says Claudio Scarpa, director of the Association of Venetian hoteliers, “our rooms on weekends they are 70-75% busy, July and August should remain at good levels even if the most important months for a city of art like Venice are September and October. Last year, due to the resumption of the pandemic, they were a disaster. Thanks to the vaccination campaign this year it shouldn’t be like that. There is confidence in the future but many companies are still on their knees, long-term loans guaranteed by the state would be fundamental ”.

There is also optimism on the coast, in places such as Bibione, Caorle, Jesolo, Cavallino and Sottomarina. In Jesolo hotel occupancy is around 70%, but there are some hotels, among the 4 stars, which are fully booked. There are Austrian, Swiss and German tourists from Bavaria – foreigners who can reach Veneto by car in a few hours – who take advantage of the Corpus Domini festival.

This weekend, among the tourists guests of the structures and the commuters, almost all the beach umbrellas of the bathing establishments are booked. “Compared to 2019, the year before Covid, we are at 50% of the expected presences” says Alessandro Berton of Unionmare Veneto, the Balneari union “but the desire for the sea is great and we are confident that bookings will increase with the passage in white area. In the last two weeks there has already been a growing trend especially for July and August. I believe that we will be able to have a decent season ”.

(Francesco Furlan)

August sold out between Salento and Gargano, but tourism is close by

BARI – Puglia is preparing for a sold out tourist season. According to a monitoring by Asshotel Confesercenti on a sample of 80 hotels and 150 between b & b, holiday homes and campsites, if the month of June will be characterized by last minute, in July the occupancy of the rooms will rise up to 70%, while August will be the completely sold out month from Gargano to Salento. “Out of 100 bookings – explains Francesco De Carlo of Asshotel – 15 percent come from abroad, partly from Europe, but also from England and the United States”. But Puglia is strong above all among Italians, as confirmed by the forecasts of the Campeggi.com website (12.5 percent of the searches concern Puglia) and a survey by Demoskopika, according to which 1.9 million will shortly be counted here. arrivals (+13.6 percent compared to 2020) and 10.6 million presences (+33.9 percent compared to 2020). These are the largest percentage increases in Italy compared to summer 2020.

Moreover, the same regional councilor for Culture and Tourism Massimo Bray (former Minister of Culture in the Letta government) is focusing a lot on local tourism. “In fact – says Massimo Salomone, Tourism Coordinator for Confindustria Puglia – the first tourists in Puglia will be the Apulians”. On the outgoing front, in fact, the uncertainties about the rules for long journeys, especially by plane, due to the pandemic, still weigh: “Reservations are slow because up to now molecular swabs 48 are required before arriving in many countries. Croatia and Greece, the destinations currently most requested by Apulian tourists together with Spain, require the Italian green pass for those who are vaccinated ”. Scenario confirmed by Pietro Innocenti, president of Fiavet Puglia: “At the moment sea products are mainly being sold in Italy, including Puglia itself, but also Sicily and the rest of the South. As far as abroad, the favorite destinations are Greece, Croatia and Spain “.

(Antonello Cassano)

From Paris to New York: this is how you will go on vacation

by Anais Ginori, Antonello Guerrera, Anna Lombardi, Alessandro Oppes

06 June 2021


The lines in front of the museums are back, Ferragni effect on Florence

FLORENCE – Tourists have started to look out again in Florence, and in Tuscany in general. Timidly, they resumed drinking a coffee in Piazza Duomo, visiting the Uffizi rooms, enjoying the greenery of Boboli, or simply taking a stroll on the Ponte Vecchio. Already in May the first queues in Piazza Duomo and in other typical places of the city were seen. The numbers speak for themselves: after two months of closure, in the first six days of reopening in May at the Uffizi Galleries there were more than 21,000 visits. If, on the other hand, we look at the entire month of May, the wall of 100,000 visitors was broken down, estimating an increase of 40% between the first and fourth week, with the record set on Sunday 30 May with 8,418 visitors.

“Florence in recent weeks has been surprising everyone with an expected return of thousands of visitors – comments the mayor Dario Nardella – especially from Italy and Europe. For the first time in many months we have seen the lines in front of the Opera del Duomo museum, Palazzo Vecchio, and the influx of excellent museums such as the Uffizi Gallery continues to grow. The presence of personalities such as Chiara Ferragni first, Sophia Loren then, sparked the curiosity and interest of many Italians. We are now waiting for American, Russian and Asian tourism which will be the one that will really make the difference, so I hope that the European Union will find an agreement as soon as possible for the mutual recognition of vaccination certificates with the other major countries of the world ”.

At the moment, it is for the most part a tourism made up of Italians, often families, but the first foreigners are also starting to arrive, especially from the closest countries such as France, Spain, Austria and Switzerland. For the long weekend of 2 June Confesercenti has calculated that the accommodation facilities in Tuscany that can be booked online have reached an occupancy level of 65%.

(Alessandro Di Maria)

Not only Palermo, assault on the Covid free islands between July and September

PALERMO – Almost 6 million passengers are expected in the airports of Palermo and Catania between June and September, double the number of the same period last year, while 300 cruise ships will dock in the main ports of the island. The beds in Sicily are already 80 per cent full and the goal is to grow again between July and August for a season that operators hope will be extended until October. The first Americans arrived in Palermo in recent weeks for a tour of Sicily, but there are many groups of French, Germans, English and Dutch and even Northern Italians who have chosen Sicily for their holidays. Palermo, Cefalu, Noto and Ortigia are the most popular destinations, while the smaller Covid free islands are destined to be stormed from July to September.

“The June numbers give us hope – says Nicola Farruggio, vice president of Federalberghi Sicily – The flow of tourists should grow during the summer and we really hope it will be a long summer, seasonally adjusting as much as possible. The period we have behind us has been very hard, we cannot make up for the losses, but we certainly try to raise our heads ”.

(Claudia Brunetto)

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