Tourism, rental boom in Sicily and Puglia (from Great Britain and the USA) – Corriere.it

Tourism, rental boom in Sicily and Puglia (thanks to vaccines in Great Britain and the USA)

«Summer tourism? The numbers we are seeing today suggest a very strong restart for the short and medium term tourist rentals. In Italy we already have many reservations in Sicily, by far the most popular destination: Palermo is Cefalù ahead. The latter in particular is becoming a tourism hub and is competing strongly with Taormina ». Stefano Bettanin, president of Property Managers Italia, the residential tourism trade association, represents about 25,000 owners who offer to tourists about 30 thousand properties, from the Alps to Sicily, for temporary rentals, the so-called “short rentals”, through apps such as Airbnb and Booking.

The cities of art most affected by the pandemic: the collapse of tourists in Florence and Venice

The sector, like so many others, has been brought to its knees by the pandemic. The cities of art have been hit most of all, with collapses in turnover of 64% (comparing 2019-2020) for Florence, Venice and Rome; while for Milan, again according to a survey by the Otex Observatory, the decrease was 54%. Marco Nicosia, data analyst who elaborated the investigation of Otex, he explains: «The loss of non-hotel activities has been very strong: reservations are made very close to the date of the overnight stay and over 60% prefer offers with free cancellation. We note an important return of foreigners and this is a very positive fact ».


The decline in turnover (2019-2020) in the non-hotel sector (Otex Observatory)
The decline in turnover (2019-2020) in the non-hotel sector (Otex Observatory)

The return of foreigners to Italy in the summer of 2021

Compared to last summer, thanks to the illusory perception that Covid was losing strength and the boom in domestic tourism, for the coming season, yes

Stefano Bettanin (Property managers Italy)
Stefano Bettanin (Property managers Italy)

foresees a significant reversal thanks to the return of foreigners: “The vaccine factor is fundamental – explains Bettanin – because the numbers tell us that the economic repercussions of a massive vaccination campaign they are very concrete. From our portfolio we are taking many bookings from Great Britain and the USA: it is no coincidence that countries where vaccine doses have been widely administered. And now people, who feel safer, want to travel again ».

In Sicily, again analyzing the trend of the 30 thousand rental properties, the part of Ragusa, Noto and Ortigia.
In second place of the most booked destinations is the Puglia: the British are booking in very much Valle d’Itria, with in the head Alberobello. «In these areas the average stay time is much longer, also because foreigners here find lower prices than in their countries and a much higher quality of life – explains Bettanin -. For this reason, both to encourage the restart of tourism and for revitalize many villages and abandoned villages, the government should approve for example tax relief for foreign pensioners who come to live with us, highly successful strategy in Portugal“.

The historic center of Ortigia
The historic center of Ortigia

Farewell to mass tourism: people are now looking for space and isolation

Covid

has turned our lives upside down and our habits will also change in free time. In fact, operators predict that the phenomenon of mass tourism will decrease for quite some time: now isolation and wider spaces are sought, not in the center. This is the factor that has triggered «a strong return of the Chianti and the Crete Senesi – say the data from Property managers -, but also in Veneto the restart will be strong, in Venice, Padua, Verona and Vicenza, especially in the villas in the countryside ».

Gardens and privacy: the new holidays

What are we looking for today? “Customers are looking for authentic experiences. The baglio in Sicily, the trullo in Puglia, the Palladian villas in Veneto. We are looking for a garden and privacy: a place to feel comfortable with the family – adds President Bettanin -. Rates? They will certainly increase compared to last summer, which were marked only by the domestic market. This year the requests are for longer holiday periods, also thanks to the possibility of doing smart working“.

The trulli of Alberobello, in the Itria Valley
The trulli of Alberobello, in the Itria Valley

Remote home automation apps to manage homes (and guests)

The pandemic, at least in the medium term, seems to have the principle was also canceled which had decreed the rapid rise of Airbnb, that is the relationship with the host (the owner of the house) to better and immediately get in touch with the place visited. “The pandemic has forced us to study new services for new needs: now customers prefer to have interactions with as few people as possible, which is why we now use remote home automation apps such as “Homeniscent” to manage all properties – concluded by Property managers -. Customer reception is managed remotely, then we have a virtual concierge who manages and solves any problem in real time. For example, you can choose the home temperature when you arrive with a click from your smartphone ». Less human contact, more technology (and tourists).

This post is also available in: English