ITALY (eTN) – The president of the Italian Hotel Association, Mr. Bernabo Bocca, expressed his concern about statistics regarding Italian holiday makers: 51.3 percent can go on a vacation – just as in 2009 – and 46 percent cannot, of which 47 percent is due to financial reasons. “Stagnation is worrying, if flanked to the high number of italians who cannot afford a holiday. This is partly due to the inflation.
“From January to June, Istat (Statistic Institute) has indeed found significant increases of everything that enables movement of tourists in our country: from the highway (+5.5 percent), railways (+12.7 percent), gasoline (+14.8 percent), to other fuels (+13.3 percent), compared with a fall in prices of hotels, which average 1 percent.
“Moreover, the net-split – between who can afford at least an overnight stay for vacation during the summer and who [can]not – is characterized by the fact that one Italian [of] every four cannot afford a holiday for lack of money, sanctioning the creation of a new disease of our economic system, briefly defined as ‘poverty tourism.’
“This leads to an overall stagnation of tourism – which does not differ from the numbers of summer 2009, not only in the entity that average spending will increase from 710 in 2009 to 853 euros in 2010 equal to a 20 percent increase justified by the increases of nights (10 to 12) and due to rising costs of travel and movement within the country.
“At this point, concluded Mr. Bocca, considering that the statistics of the first six months show zero growth in hotel attendance, a similar trend even in the summer months in which 6 out of 10 tourists are Italian, we believe that Italy cannot afford to ignore the signs of economic recovery that are beginning to show up worldwide. And, it is a must for us to analyze the political reasons that contribute to our stand-still position, when countries like France and Spain state that they have already begun to benefit [from] a new economic trend.”