Tourism, the managers of the houses for rent: “Bonus proposed by us but we are the only ones who cannot benefit from it. We risk closing”

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Between masks on the beach e sunbeds to be booked online, summer 2020 will be marked by the anti-contagion rules memorized in these months. Above all that of physical distancing, which could lead Italians to prefer the House for rent, where compliance with the rules is certainly easier. After the months of uncertainty, with the collapse of the requests and thousands of cancellations, the phones of the operators of properties intended for tourist rental have started ringing again, but the effects of the crisis are felt: “Often the customer tries to to negotiate the price, in these weeks we spend a lot of time doing long negotiations that lead to nothing, “he says Angelo Zazzera of HelloGroup, a company that manages 100 properties in Puglia, between Monopoli, Ostuni and Alberobello. And many ask for information on holiday bonus, expected by Revival decree, which however has turned into a mockery for the tourist rental sector: “We were the ones who proposed it during the table called by the Ministry last March 4, then we discovered that we are the only ones who cannot benefit from it, “he explains Stefano Bettanin, president of Property Managers Italy, residential tourism association representing more than 600 companies for a total of over 50 thousand accommodations located throughout Italy.

The exclusion derives from one regulatory gap: tourist leases, as management and rental of properties without additional services, are considered extra accommodation facilities, but unlike holiday homes and bed and breakfasts they do not refer to a specific Ateco code, because there is still no national regulation for the sector. “The government was very quick to take us into consideration to act as tax substitutes and pay increased taxes – continues Bettanin – but he never bothered to foresee an Ateco code and to uniquely identify them companies that operate professionally “. The sector represents 55% of the entire hospitality offer in Italy and involves, according to estimates by Property Managers, about 400 thousand people. “We ask the government to include in the measures all the companies that collect and pay the tourist tax, because there are thousands of jobs at risk”.

“The forecasts for 2020 were excellent,” recalls Zazzera of HelloGroup. In February the reservations the apartments managed by the Apulian group had grown by 20% compared to the same month of the previous year. Then the coronavirus blocked everything: “Since March we have had more than 200 cancellations, an avalanche of reimbursements and claims for compensation “. The drastic drop led to the layoffs for the 12 employees, but the fallout will be heavy for the whole territory: “For the economy of Puglia tourism is a fundamental resource. By excluding us from aid, the government is ignoring one category that moves an articulated chain of activities, from car rental to Restaurants, from services to field trips organized. ”

In Tuscany the pandemic budget for Apartments Florence, agency that manages 500 apartments in the capital, is 20 people in layoffs and peak turnover: “We are less than 95%”, explains the owner Lorenzo Fagnoni. “Fortunately, we have a healthy company and we have been able to afford to bring the layoffs ahead of ours collaborators, but now many people who revolve around our business are in difficulty: the three cleaning companies who collaborated with us, for example, are firm, and one has already failed ”. from Sicily to sound the alarm is Adolfo Fiorini, owner of a structure in Cefalù that is still closed at the end of May: “There are only two left reservations, one for August and one for September. All other guests have moved on next year living room already fixed for months or canceled holidays“. So the two apartments, fully sold out, now risk being left empty for a long time: “In recent years, tourism has grown a lot here, but now the‘switch. Sicily, this year and probably also the next, will see dark moments “.

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