- An Italian Ministry of Tourism was created 60 years ago after 24 political changes.
- Due to COVID-19, the country saw 273 million fewer tourists in 2020.
- How will the 224 billion euros of the recovery plan be spent?
This is what the new Mario Draghi, Italian Prime Minister, has decided. Italy Tourism leaves the Department of Cultural Heritage (Mibact) and becomes an autonomous ministry headed by the former Deputy Minister of Economy, Massimo Garavaglia, of the political party Lega, a right-wing, federalist, populist and conservative political party in Italy (currently without portfolio).
The establishment of the Ministry of Tourism Mibact dates back to 1960. For this sector, the acquisition of an institutional dimension marks the umpteenth stage of a journey that has seen the evolution of 24 politicians of varying stature and party affiliation, until its abolition in 1993.
Measures taken to contain coronavirus infections have overwhelmed the tourism sector, which before the COVID crisis was worth more than 13% of Italy’s GDP and was one of the most vital economic sectors. According to the Demoskopika Institute, 2020 ended with 237 million fewer tourists than the previous year. Hence President Draghi’s choice to focus on a dedicated ministry.
The vision of Unionturismo President Gian Franco Fisanotti is:
“With a specific minister, we can expect greater attention from the government to the many problems of our sector which needs the help of all the living forces of the country, starting with security, health, agriculture , transport and culture, on which its credibility is based.
“Principally [it is] a constitutional reform to revise title V of the constitution. [Title V is that part of the Italian Constitution in which local autonomies are “designed” – municipalities, provinces, and regions.]
“The State should be endowed with concrete legislative power, concurrent with that of the regions, to enact regulations valid throughout the national territory. The national tourist offer is nourished by agriculture and transport. Italy deserves the best.
“The success of Made in Italy and the challenge of competing countries require a unified image of Italy despite the complexity and richness of the product. It will take some time before the bureaucratic phases of the transfer of tasks to the new Ministry of Tourism can be completed from that of Cultural Heritage where they have been until now, but we are confident in the efficiency of Prime Minister Mario Draghi and of his collaborators.
“The new government will thus be able to pursue at full speed the papers in order, the strategies for relaunching Italy’s competitiveness on the international scene in close collaboration with Enit and the regions, the strategic projects for qualifying the supply tourist who after COVID, he needs strong incentives to restart.
“The missions of the new ministry are known and can be summarized as follows: coordination and promotion of national tourism policies, relations with EU and non-EU countries in the field of tourism, relations with professional associations and tourism businesses. Then there are plans for the development and integration of national tourism policies to help and protect tourists, the management of structural funds and the promotion of young people for new forms of sustainable tourism.
With an 8 billion euro recovery plan dedicated to culture, not much has been done, especially since a large part of the funds has already been allocated to the promotion of rural villages such as Borghi , major cultural tourist attractions, slow tourism, etc. .
Recovery: what it brings to tourism
The 7 pages dedicated to tourism out of the 170 in the Recovery Plan only indicate 8 billion euros out of 223.9 to be shared with culture.
One chapter of the Recovery Plan, that on tourism, which is memorable is its evanescence, given the sectors to be covered:
– New generation cultural heritage
– Strengthening of the strategic plan for major tourist and cultural attractions
– Digital platforms and strategies for accessing cultural heritage
– Improved physical accessibility
– Caput Mundi. Interventions on the artistic and cultural heritage of Rome
– Development of the film industry (Cinecittà Project)
– Minor sites, rural and peri-urban areas
– National village plan
– Rural historical heritage
– Program Identity sites, suburbs, parks and historic gardens
– Seismic safety of places of worship and restoration of FEC heritage
– Tourism and Culture
– Culture 4.0
– Training and tourism initiatives for the
– Cultural dissemination in schools Support for cultural operators in the green and digital transition –
– “Paths in history” – Slow tourism
– Improvement of accommodation infrastructure and tourist services
The resounding “National Recovery and Resilience Plan” (PNRR) is ambitious, at least for now, and only has the name and the structure since each of its chapters contains various investment projects, said Marina Lalli , President of the Italian Tourism Federation. , pointing out that the plans drawn up by other countries such as Spain, have the government reserved 24 billion for tourism, up to 17% of the total 140 billion.
The fear of the federation led by Confindustria is that for tourism SMEs, the failure rate could reach 40% of the overall offer with peaks of 80% for sectors such as travel agencies and tour operators or 60 % for those in culture, catering and entertainment.
“In this context of alarm,” added Lalli, “we look at the National Recovery and Resilience Plan with high hopes and deep expectations, while being aware that these are medium-term investment projects. /long term which, therefore, do not fall under the urgency of helping the sector.
Paolo Gentiloni, European Commissioner for the Economy, stressed that the plan needed to be “strengthened”. The objective is to arrive on time for the meeting of April 30 with Europe, the deadline for the presentation in Brussels of a Plan which has the right economic structure to restart.