About Restarting Italy: Concerns of Independent Hotel Managers
We all run the risks to close business down
Over 200 independent hotel managers are raising the white flag and launching a united alarm cry to Minister Mibact Dario Franceschini of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities about restarting Italy.
The operators of hotels and tourist villages from all over Italy and more than 20 companies that manage from 6 to 15 accommodations – and many others which represent 40% of the Italian hotel market – expressed enormous concern to the Minister over the measures included in the draft of the May decree now renamed “Riparti Italia” which was deemed inconsistent and dangerous for the sector.
With the turnover that suffered serious losses due to the COVID-19 emergency, in fact, the solutions feared by the government on the leases and business leases node are unacceptable and undermine the future of many companies, the hotel managers are saying.
“We have given all the necessary time for the executive hoping for concrete support,” saidFabrizio Prete, General Manager of Garibaldi Hotels, “and we are now close to the summer season with completely inappropriate hypotheses that will not allow us to face the seasonal openings, but not even to support the impact determined by COVID-19 in the future of companies.
“In fact, the proposal of the 60% tax credit on the annual rental fee is an inadequate solution, the result of the superficial knowledge of the sector and its operations or the explicit desire to prefer and defend the rents of the property owners rather than protecting the economic impact, given the now well-known impact on GDP, but above all social, given the number of people employed, the support for the enhancement of the landscape and historical beauty of our nation, entrepreneurial activities dedicated to the management of properties that otherwise would have no sense of existing.”
He added that “from what emerges in the draft of the decree, the managers would be forced to pay the entire rent provided for in the lease or business lease contracts, without the possibility to foresee a financial aid that could allow for payment (seen the current liquidity crisis given the total inactivity imposed to date which makes it impossible to anticipate these sums) and without any protection with respect to the possibility that the property owner may request the termination of the contract if the rent is not paid according to the contract .”
The approximate measure contained in the draft of the decree was also commented on by Franco Falcone, President of Buone Vacanze, who observed: “All domestic and foreign commercial contracts have been canceled as well as the down payments established, the deposits paid by customers returned with a financial framework irreversible business.”
It is precisely the financial aspect that arouses the greatest concerns: the managers consider it impractical to apply the liquidity decree, now delegated to the banks, which are unlikely to finance companies belonging to a sector that is declared among the most affected by this health/economic emergency, recognizing it high risk.
Furthermore, the draft of the decree does not provide for any mechanism relating to the use of the tax credit both in regards to the timing (i.e., if you have to wait for the end of the year to be able to ascertain the credit or if it can be done on a monthly basis from 2020) or on the modalities.