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Rome Meeting the Challenges of Bringing Tourism Back to Life

NOW Mauricio A. from Pixabay e1651108464970

Within a few months, perhaps even before the end of the year, Rome will have its Destination Management Organization (DMO). This was announced by the Mayor of the capital of Italy, Roberto Gualtieri, speaking at the Hotelier Day Special Edition promoted by Federalberghi Rome.

The event was held after 2 years of absence because of the pandemic. For the Mayor, it is the first tangible sign of an “even closer collaboration between the Roman administration and the categories of the sector most affected by the pandemic, which today more than ever represents an obligatory step to seize the 3 exceptional opportunities for relaunching tourism. Not only local but also national, referring to the Ryder Cup 2023, the Jubilee 2025, and the candidacy for the Expo 2030.

“Unrepeatable opportunities to return to being protagonists in the world tourism market.”

To meet these challenges, the municipal administration intends to act also through decisive actions to combat illegality – illegalism as highlighted by the Councilor for Tourism of the Municipality of Rome, Alessandro Onorato. He anticipated the intention to intervene on 2 fronts: at Fiumicino airport against NCC (rental with driver service) and abusive taxi drivers with thousands of reports and fines, and on players such as Airbnb who had signed an agreement with Giunta Raggi (previous Mayor of Rome) for the payment of the city tax by setting the quota unilaterally and accumulating non-payments for millions of euros. Now they will have to submit to the same parameters as hoteliers, and it is a first strong sign of legality to bring back the same rules for everyone in the tourist-accommodation market.

But beyond the good intentions, rosy prospects, and some good news, the current situation is worrying hoteliers, as specified by the President of Federalberghi Rome, Giuseppe Roscioli, who said:

“Unfortunately, the destination Rome continues to suffer with a strong loss of attendance compared to 2019. To make the situation difficult, the government has abandoned the aid system, but our sector, it is not yet out of the emergency, so much so that we expect to return to normal only in 2024. And this year, despite timid signs of recovery at the Easter period, almost half of foreign arrivals and presences are missing.

“Let’s not forget that in Rome, in 2019, 72% of the hotel clientele were international. Today we have to suffer the absence of important flows from Russia, Asia, and parts of the Americas,

“Hence our requests to the government regarding the moratoriums on loans and financing, since the hoteliers at the end of March had to start paying the installments again, with hotels that are still closed or only partially operational. We paid the IMU in December.

“An absurd situation. I hope the government understands this suffering.”

“In this regard, we have set up a special table for Rome, with an extraordinary assembly of the capitol to raise awareness, for example, of the emergency employment in the sector after over 4,000 layoffs in the last period. Specific actions must be taken with regional measures that can alleviate the situation.”

In the hotel and complimentary accommodation establishments in Rome and the Metropolitan City, there is a recovery compared to 2021, in which employment was almost nil, which, however, remains very far from the “pre-pandemic” levels of 2019.

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