In the first weekend of the mandatory green pass, the Italian amusement parks lost an entrance compared to the previous week. According to the Italian Permanent Parks Association, a member of Confindustria, the decline is due to the fact that the parks are aimed mainly at teenagers, one of the least vaccinated sections of the population.
«We are not prejudiced against the green pass, personally aiming to make Leolandia“ Covid-Free ”in the autumn» says Giuseppe Ira, president of the Italian Permanent Parks Association and of Leolandia, who then explains: «The times are not yet ripe. There are not enough vaccines among young people and, above all, enough vaccine doses to answer the question. We ask the government, which has wanted to pursue the French model at all costs, to do it all the way. In France, the minimum age for presenting the green pass has been raised to 18 and, above all, in the autumn, refreshments equal to 80% of the losses suffered for the companies most damaged by the provision are already foreseen. Here in Italy, however, the only certainty are losses: many parks are on the verge of bankruptcy in the almost total indifference of the institutions. If the trend is confirmed, companies will be forced to suspend the season, firing thousands of workers ».
Before the last council of ministers, the Association met with the Minister of Tourism, Massimo Garavaglia, with the aim of raising the government’s awareness on the problems of the sector, but the request to raise the exemption of the green pass up to 18 years is was rejected by the executive.
«The Minister – continues Ira – has assured us that in September there will be funding for the category, referring to the untimely application of the green pass. As for the effects of the provision, Garavaglia has managed to safeguard hotels, spas and other tourism businesses: we have been cut off because, despite our contribution to the tourism system of the area, we still belong to the Ministry of Culture ».
Until 2019, the Italian amusement parks, about 230 thematic, wildlife and aquatic parks, generated 1.1 million overnight stays and were visited every year by 20 million Italians and 1.5 million foreigners. Also in 2019, the sector generated a turnover of 450 million euros referring to the ticket office alone, a figure that rises to 1 billion with internal induced, such as catering and merchandising, and 2 billion considering the external induced, relating for example to shopping malls, hotels and other services near parks. In terms of employment, the sector before the pandemic employed 25,000 people between permanent and seasonal workers, 60,000 with related industries. In 2020, the companies in the sector on average recorded losses of 75%, placing themselves fully among the most affected by the crisis: 20% of the parks completely renounced the opening and some important Italian entrepreneurial realities changed hands to funds of foreign investment.
The president of Fratelli d’Italia, Giorgia Meloni, also intervened in support of the parks: «Among the sectors most affected by the pass imposed by the government is that of amusement parks, outdoor places frequented above all by young people and families with children. While the hospitals are empty and the infections are abundantly under control, Draghi and Speranza have well thought of giving another blow to the real economy, hitting those sectors that work especially in the summer season. Who will restore these entrepreneurs for the huge losses they are making? What will happen to the workers? A state that prevents businesses from working and producing wealth is a state destined to make the next generations live in poverty ”.