PRO-YOUTH: Scenarios for the recovery of the tourism sector

Updated: May 19

Tourism is a driving sector for many European economies, or at least, it was until the beginning of #COVID19 emergency which questioned the behaviors of customers and the demands of different economic sectors, including undoubtedly #tourism. Today more than ever, the training of tourism professionals will be a key factor for the rebirth of European, national and regional economies.

We interviewed Dr. Carlotta Bianchi, Assistant Director for the Hotel chain Mantovaholiday.it, based in Mantua (Italy), and Event Assistant for a central luxury location in Mantua, to better understand the situation of today's market and its forecasts.

Thanks in advance for accepting our interview request!

Could you describe your role in tourism sector?

My main activities consist in supervision, strategy analysis, customer care, innovate systems and tools, check the supply chain, support managing decisions, plus organize and take part in the events we host or third-party host.

I work as an Assistant Director for the Hotel chain Mantovaholiday.it, based in Mantova, and Event Assistant for a central luxury location in Mantova.

Did you already know PRO YOUTH Erasmus+ Project and its objectives?

I did not know the PRO YOUTH reality before participating in the project. I was well-informed by Promimpresa before and during the project itself.

Which will be the effects of #COVID19 emergency on tourism in #Italy, #Bulgaria, #Croatia and #Romania, that is, the countries of origin of the organizations involved in the PRO YOUTH project?

The forecast of Italy’s 2020 summer season, before the crisis, can be descripted by the following data:

Around 48 billion-euro earnings from foreign people coming for vacation

Around 24 billion-euro earnings from Italian people remaining in Italy for vacation

Around 3 million jobs in the tourist sector

While Europe’s situation:

Around 14 million jobs in the tourist sector

Around 3,2 billion number of nights spent in structures located in the EU

Which will be the role of the #training of #NEETs and young people in general in the recovery phase of the management of tourist flows, considering that, in all probability, the tourist experience will have to be reformulated precisely because of the effects and safeguards to be used to contain the risks sanitary emergency?

The effects that the #COVID19 emergency will create on the tourism sector in Italy – and the other countries as well - are supposed to be the following [N.B.: numbers relate to Italy only]:

  • Critical fall of annual GDP (last year around 13% was induced by tourism)

  • Loss of total demand (around 85%)

  • Loss of revenue (between 126 and 153 million €, around 73,3%)

  • Decrease in long – haul travel

  • Less expenditure capacity of the guests because of the economic crisis

  • Decrease of the booking window (meaning less nights spent in a location)

  • Redefinition of contract’s with suppliers and intermediaries (such as OTA)

  • Contraction of the Offer

  • General confusion regarding the measures to be implemented because of what happens in other countries as well

  • Market immobility

Which should be the role of EU and national institutions, in terms of actions and policies active in the territories to encourage the recovery of tourist demand?

National and International institutions will need to focus on:

  • Proposing a general, recognized timetable of lock-down and re-opening

  • Giving proper, official, detailed communications

  • Promoting public and private transportation with incentives ➢ Deciding how people can move in and between the borders

  • Finding a common app that can inform the public regarding the international virus situation and the practices that ought to be taken

  • Boosting the trips

  • Defining common rules to be respected everywhere

What instead are the governmental actions to be taken to reactivate and the training offer for young people who would like to find employment in this sector?

The actions that might be taken by the government are the following:

To propose free courses to train the young people on the new practices required by the sector and the new scenarios regarding work contracts

To give vouchers to young people to have holidays in Italy

To propose incentives to buy IT tools

To make the public and the private sector (e.g. schools, institutions, companies, …) constantly dialogue to find real, necessary needs, solutions, and skills regarding the upcoming situation.

According to your experience, which structure should distinguish a valuable training course for young people who would like to be trained to become actors and protagonists in the future of the tourism sector, in terms of content and methods of use?

A valuable training course must consider these aspects:

  • Provide detailed information on how the course will be developed before and at the start of the course, to be sure that the participants are really into it

  • Dialogue with public and private realities to better understand nowadays required skills and needs

  • In-field experiences (such as internship, …)

  • Proper tests in the middle and at the end of the course

  • Final feedback from the participant regarding method, content, tools, teachers at the end of the course

  • Overall final feedback from the teachers regarding the participant’s interest, active communication, and skills.

How could PRO-YOUTH support the tourism training for young people and NEETs in this new scenario?

I believe that the PRO-YOUTH reality could help by:

  • Providing a platform, accessible to NEETs, with valuable and modern information regarding the training required by the #Tourism sector

  • Proposing internship and/or workshop with the available partners and realities that participated in the various phases of the project

  • Proposing online network and workshop with the available partners and realities that participated in the various phases of the project

  • Producing online and offline resources about the project, accessible to public and private institutions and companies at a national and international level

  • Promoting contact and dialogue between employment agencies and schools and NEETs.

Has Lombardy Region already communicated a forecast plan aimed at recovering the sector?

No, even if the Italian Government has already issued different decrees with some general information, there is no absolute certainty about the re-opening dates, there is contrast between regional and national levels, the financial help is not State-guaranteed, there are no definite and complete prescriptions on how people can operate (e.g. prepare food and beverages, clean the work environment, lead groups, check the health of employees and customers, …), there is doubt about providing travel vouchers and incentives to be spent in the tourism field for Italian and foreign people, there are no rules about people’s movement and transportation.

Text by Promimpresa. The interview was taken on 15 April 2020 and reflects the state of knowledge of that time.

© Photos: Carlotta Bianchi, Wikipedia (Tango7174, CC BY-SA 4.0), Wix.com

© PRO-YOUTH 2019