Large cities of art do not start again, “lost 34m admissions”


The big cities of art don’t leave. The absence of foreign tourists is bringing the economy of Italian cities of art to their knees, in particular the major ones. Rome, Venice, Florence, Turin and Milan, which together account for over a third of Italian tourism, are preparing to lose almost 34 million tourists from abroad in 2020, with important consequences for the entire city economy, especially for businesses of historical centers. Stopping the visitors will in fact cause a loss of around 7 billion euros in total tourist expenses, of which 4.9 billion will be borne by the accommodation, restaurant and business and services sectors. The alarm is issued by Confesercenti, on elaborations conducted on the basis of Tourism economics forecasts.

Conservative estimates, which could prove optimistic in the absence of a start to the recovery of the flow of travelers by the end of the year. The drop in visitors. The black jersey goes to Venice: for the thousand-year-old Serenissima, symbol of Made in Italy tourism and usually among the most sought-after destinations globally, a decrease of -13.2 million admissions is expected, for a total of 3 billion euros of lost tourist spending. Rome follows: for the capital, forecasts are about 9.9 million fewer presences and 2.3 billion of nuanced travelers’ consumption. In Florence the losses will be around -5 million presences and around -1.2 billion in consumption; in Milan the contraction of presences should instead reach almost 4 million less, while for consumption it will be over 900 million euro.

In Turin, on the other hand, it is estimated that there will be a drop of over 800 thousand presences and 186 million euros less tourist expenses. The aggravating smartworking. The decrease in foreign tourists – not compensated by the Italians, who preferred seaside resorts and villages – must be added to the negative contribution deriving from the persistence of a high proportion of workers still in smartworking. A quota destined not to decrease too much until the end of the year, given the prolonged state of emergency and the overall uncertainties. In these 5 cities, which record over 6.5 million total employees, we estimate 13% of agile workers, whose absence from workplaces is causing the loss of around 250 million euros per month in accommodation and catering expenses. Until the end of the year, the smartworking effect would make these companies lose 1.76 billion euros.

“Tourism is paying a very high price for the emergency triggered by Covid. A hard blow that is felt especially in large cities of art. Here the combined braking of travelers and the extension of agile work threatens to blow up local business systems. Especially those related to tourist spending: from restaurants to bars, to the shops of the historic centers, “explains Patrizia De Luise, National President of Confesercenti. “It is a situation of exceptional gravity, which requires extraordinary measures”, concludes De Luise. “For this reason we ask to establish special urban free zones in the historical centers of the Municipalities of cultural interest with high tourist flow, which are the most affected by the long wave of the crisis triggered by the Covid emergency. Free zones should allow companies operating there to enjoy special support, in the form of a contribution to be used in compensation for tax and social security contributions. In this way we would give some oxygen to accommodation, tourism services, commerce and catering businesses and bars, now in asphyxiation. Without intervention, thousands of SMEs risk jumping like skittles. ”


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