Recession Maintains Its Icy Grip on Italy

By Matthew Costin Global Director (Hotels & Hospitality), BDRC Continental | March 19, 2014

While Silvio Berlusconi, three times Italian prime minister, faces prison for fraud, the web of cross-holdings between Italian banks, commerce and industry is unraveling and the economic outlook is bleak. The recession is likely to persist through 2013, with uncertainty whether the gentle recovery in Germany and France will help Italy up also.

Cold comfort indeed for Italian hoteliers.

Hospitality trading conditions are not optimal in Italy's capital, Rome, or its industrial engine room, Milan. Occupancy declined in both cities in 2012 (0.7% for Rome, 2.6% for Milan). 2013 is expected to show Milan holding steady but Rome dropping a further 2.1%. This, believe it or not, is the good news. The rest of the Italian hotel market has been hard hit by declines in the domestic business market as well as domestic leisure.

Italian Hotel Market

Domestic business volumes have fallen by a sharp 12%, from 47 million room nights in 2012 to 41 million in 2013. Domestic leisure volumes have fallen sharply for the second year running, from 63 million to 56 million room nights – down 11%.

The domestic business market, after several years of stability, has fallen. Participation in the domestic business travel market is down over 10% from 2.8 to 2.5 million. The number of frequent business travelers has also dropped, from 0.5 to 0.4 million. With reduced participation and restrictions on discretionary spend, domestic business nights are down more than 12%, from 47 million to 41 million. The greatest proportion of these travelers, 21%, comes from the industrial northern region of Lombardy, home to a sixth of Italy's population and generating a fifth of its GDP.

Choose a Social Network!

The social network you are looking for is not available.

Close

Hotel Newswire Headlines Feed  

Jason Ferrara
Inger Oliver
David Ashen
Ken Hutcheson
Rene Lewis
David Ashen
Kelly McGuire
Brenda Fields
Fran Sarmiento
Steven Belmonte
Coming up in April 2019...

Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.