“One out of two Germans has currently canceled their reservation for their June holidays in Romagna while for the month of July we are at 25% of cancellations” warns Patrizia Rinaldis, president of Federalberghi Emilia-Romagna. Heavy losses in terms of presences and overnight stays caused by the inaccurate information disseminated by the German media in the post-flood phase have “widened” the epicenter of the flooded areas up to the coastal towns that actually escaped the disaster. A title for everyone: «Rimini, the flooded holiday paradise». A video by Bild thus presented the situation with clips taken in the internal towns of the flooded area together with the storm sweeping the coast.
A large part of these cancellations came from online travel agencies such as Booking.com and Expedia mainly used by non-loyal customers who choose their holiday based on the price and services offered but also on the ease with which they can cancel their trip. Once the holiday in Italy was cancelled, the choice then fell between the resorts of Spain, Greece and Croatia. It should not be forgotten that 90% of German tourists use the car as a means of going on vacation and this convenience has favored giving up.
The behavior of tourists from other European countries such as, for example, France, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe, who reach Romagna by plane and organized trips, is different. No waivers come from this clientele. “Immediately after the flood, cancellations also arrived from the Italians due to the difficulties in reaching the coast but as soon as the road network normalized, bookings began to arrive again” continues the president who for the long weekend of the Republic Day reports a good level of attendance. At the moment it is difficult to quantify the lost revenues due to cancellations but 2023 was shaping up to be a record year for the area, with a summer tourist expenditure of 3.7 billion (+6.2%) according to Demoskopika estimates, after a 2022 in which the attendances of 2019 were exceeded.
For the summer holidays, however, this year the Italians have played in advance in booking. This is what emerges from the Astoi – Confindustria Viaggi Observatory which highlights an increase in tour operator revenues with +11% compared to the same period of 2019 but this year due to fuel price increases and inflation falls (-4%) the number of travellers. «The price increases brought about by inflation are weighing but customers do not give up on travel, an incompressible asset – recalls Pier Ezhaya, president of Astoi – Confindustria Viaggi -. The data is clearly positive and the propensity to travel is expressed in the most varied forms. Organized tourism is preferred towards consumers more prone to do-it-yourself, especially in the shoulder months of the high season (the months of May, June, September and October ndr) with an average of +15%».
Sicily, Sardinia and Puglia are the favorite destinations for those who choose Italy, while in terms of travel abroad, Egypt (+46% on 2019), Tunisia, Spain and Greece stand out in the Mediterranean area. In the long range, Kenya, Zanzibar and Madagascar are affirming themselves and for the Far East there is a boom in bookings towards Japan and Indonesia with Bali.