The tourism and hospitality sector has been among the hardest hit by the pandemic, with repercussions extending to other sectors. In 2020 in Italy, there was be a 60% drop in visitors compared to 2019. Let's have a closer look at the future of tourism and hospitality in Italy after COVID-19 with the help of Deloitte.
According to Deloitte, in 2020 there were 70 million fewer visitors in Italy than in the previous year, in addition to a reduction in of nights reserved in Italy by tourists of about 224 million. This amounts to an overall loss of 95 billion euros. International visitors decreased by 71%, while domestic tourism dropped by 46%.
Looking at the first figures for 2021, the situation is still proving difficult and hasn't improved to a great extent: compared to February 2020, when travel was still allowed, spending by foreign travellers in Italy has fallen by 79% (357 million euros), while spending by Italians when travelling dropped by 69.5% (430 million euros).
Tourism forecast in Italy 2021-2024
At the moment, various hypotheses can be formulated on when the actual recovery of the tourism sector will take place in Italy and across Europe. Recovery would mean a return to values comparable to 2019, but it is likely that for the domestic market the turnaround will not take place before 2023, while there is talk of 2024 for the international market.
"These forecasts for the tourism and hospitality sector were made at the end of 2020, before the start of the vaccination campaign", comments Tommaso Stranieri, Hospitality Leader at Deloitte. "Hopefully the effectiveness of the vaccine itself will improve the performance of the sector as early as 2021. However, the recovery phase for the hospitality sector as a whole will be longer than for other sectors affected by the pandemic. It is essential that all players in the tourism ecosystem use this transitional period to prepare for the new phase of prosperity, making investments of various kinds with the aim of improving their performance and being ready to welcome and manage travellers of the future".
Tourism of the future: rental cars and holiday homes
While the desire to travel has remained unchanged, what has changed are the wishes and requirements of tourists. Preferences for holiday destinations have changed, with a more robust search for so-called secondary destinations to the detriment of more traditional destinations such as major cities of art like Rome, Venice and Florence. In addition, the mode of transport that people want is also different, with an increase in requests for rental cars to the detriment of traditional low-cost flights. Along the same lines, the type of accommodation that tourists want is also different: there is a growing interest in holiday homes instead of hotels.
At the moment, one of the priorities of tourists, both Italian and foreign, remains the safety factor. Concern for one's own health remains a relevant issue for 47% of Italians and 57% of foreigners, and the figures increase when it comes to concern for the health of family members: 61% for Italians and 64% for foreigners. Consequently, there are still many tourists who do not feel safe staying in a hotel or taking a flight: among Italians, only 43% say they feel safe staying in a hotel, while 32% say they that flying is safe.