There are a German, a Belgian and a Frenchman. This is not a joke. They are the first, albeit few, tourists to put the flag back in Milan. A little something has changed. The gray fog of the pandemic is lifting. In the last two weeks, the first signs of a timid restart. Summer will be a break-in. In September you will have to change gear. The numerical frame explains it best of all a fact in the hands of Federalberghi: in June, imagine first, this is close to 35 per cent of the places occupied in hotels. In pre-Covid era, it was close to 75%. “An abyss amplified by the difference in prices, which in 2019 were 40 percent higher,” explains the Milanese president. There are endless explanations, many inevitable. “The driving force of events is missing and for this reason the percentage of employment is destined to drop to around 25 per cent in August. Many hotels will be closed until September»Continues Naro.
However, there are a couple of useful trends to move the sector. Meanwhile, the number of whom is growing, coming out of the smart working cave, return to travel for work. Especially in the center people hear about foreigners again. “In the center, international visitors can be seen in Piazza Duomo: the wind of reopening will be felt in autumn, when fairs and events will drive business tourism – explains the councilor for tourism Roberta Guaineri -. The big challenge now is to relaunch local tourism, to promote the city district by district“. A work that the Municipality is carrying out together with the tourist guide sector: “There are still too many obstacles for our business: we suffer from the quota of museums, which is why we are inventing innovative itineraries”, explains Valeria Gerli, president of the trade association . “We have also worked with nothing in the difficult months, now we want to build something that convinces foreigners to come and stay not only for the Cenacle”. Good signs (in contrast) come from the Pinacoteca: in Brera there have been more than 13 thousand admissions, with sold-out on weekends. Visitors are for the most part Italian, but the flow begins mainly from France, Germany and Poland. Few families and especially under 25.
Young people are pioneers by nature: the boys return to tour Italy backpacking. The photograph in this case comes from the hostel front: «They are kids on vacation, Milan is a stage of their journey – explains Carlo Dalla Chiesa, one of the founders of Ostello Bello -. Compared to last year’s restart, there is a different spirit of trust. They mostly come from Europe and North America, but we completely miss Asia, which for us was worth 30 per cent of the beds occupied ».
The pandemic has its own rules. It is still hard to come from afar. For this the first (mini) tourist wave materializes in the car. Many choose the short rent. A great classic of pre-Covid tourism. It is up to speak in the past tense since on the short-term rental portals, there were 21,000 in January 2020, 8,000 today. Even if the average length of stay is extended from 2 to 4 days. “Private hosts tend to lower the price by up to 40 percent, but in this way you risk the paradoxical effect of losing customers who are more attentive to the issue of security”, adds Marco Celani of Italianway. In July and August it will not be easy to turn. Because if the tourist has to dispose of the stress of the last few months, it is easy for tourists to prefer the sea to a hot metropolis. The real test will be in September. “Unfortunately, the projection of the bookings that arrive does not give great illusions: the feeling is that many book only in close proximity”, concludes Naro. The pandemic is an ugly beast, it has shortened not only distances, but also horizons.
June 21, 2021 | 07:45
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