Proposte per il rilancio del turismo post Covid-19 | CDP

Hotel sector and Covid-19: scenarios, impacts, prospects

The in-depth study, conducted together with EY and Luiss Business School, inaugurates a series of sector analyses that look beyond the crisis phase and offer up some ideas for leading the country to a more sustainable growth path, arguing from the perspective that the context, impact and policies inevitably differ between the various production sectors and need a specific look.

The first document concerns tourism, which represents 13% of Italy’s GDP and is the sector most affected by the Covid-19 crisis. Specifically, the hotel sector is the one for which the worst performance is estimated. The small size of companies and the already high levels of indebtedness mean that the accommodation industry is particularly vulnerable to the liquidity constraints to which it is exposed as a result of the sudden freeze in business. Characteristic Italian factors - such as the variety of supply and the high seasonality of demand - combined with the requirement for domestic tourism, could mitigate this negative impact.

In this context, in 2020 the crisis will weigh on the turnover of accommodation companies by about 50%, provided that they resume operations in the summer season. The expected loss of turnover could be close to €10 billion. There will be a liquidity loss of €2-2.5 billion to manage and the equity of companies in the sector could be reduced by as much as €3 billion. The impact on employment will also be heavy, in a sector with many seasonal contracts. In any case, the temporary aid measures will not be able to cope with prolonged contractions in consumption.

What can be done? The hospitality industry supports the capital impact better, but may need structural strengthening, not just liquidity support. To recover a development path the industry will require an intricate system of supporting measures. The main guidelines of a possible intervention relate to:

  • new ways of using existing products and developing innovative and sustainable products;
  • policies to support capital strengthening by leveraging real estate assets in order to encourage aggregation processes and the creation of national giants, with recognisable and better-structured brands;
  • employment protection and promotion of up-skilling and re-skilling of staff;
  • actions to restore confidence in the system.
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