ITALY (eTN) – This is the proposal of the Minister of Tourism Piero Gnudi to the EU Commissioner Antonio Tajani. Brussels has earmarked 130 million euros to the fund, “The share to each of the 27 countries will be pennies,” recalled the Italian head of the Tourism Commission at the hearing to the Productive Activities sector of the Chamber.
According to the Minister, Italy suffers from weaknesses in the infrastructure sector, which have been at a standstill for 20 years. Another weakness is in regards to Alitalia lacking connections with important capital cities. The Chinese tourists, for example, land in Frankfurt and Paris, in particular. Gnudi recalled the last data released by the National Academy of Chinese tourism: 54 million Chinese traveled in 2010. It is forecasted that in 2015, the number will rise to 130 million. “Our problem,” said the minister, “is to intercept these numbers.”
1.6 million new jobs or more
In addition to the joint action at the European level, adopting a “strategy country” on tourism “could generate over 1.6 million jobs, and the contribution of this industry to GDP could increase from 13 percent to 18 percent,” the minister continued.
The minister also recalled that in 1950 there were 25 million people who were traveling worldwide; in 2011, this figure increased to a billion people with a growth of 40 times in the last 60 years.
“Last year,” said Gnudi, “the tourist flow outgoing registered a fall of 4.12 percent, while the incoming grew by 4.5 percent.” The negative points of the Italian tourist system, said Gnudi, are the reliance on seasonality, the lack of major numbers of tour operators, and hotel groups of specific Italian brand. Another problem is the level of schooling – according to the minister, only 17 percent of the work force in the tourist sector are university graduates, compared with 35 percent of the competitor countries (France and Spain, in particular).
The choice of Celli for ENIT
Gnudi also expressed his favorable opinion on the recent assignment of the CEO position of ENIT to Pier Luigi Celli. “His working experience, said the minister, includes the management of staff in various companies; top level activities in leading, industries including banks; and finally, DG for the Italian State Radio TV- RAI. A person with such a qualified CV has the capacity to help us to revive the Italian tourism promotion agency, ENIT.”