Italy Update, December 2020

Italy Update, December 2020

2 December 2020


Good news for the global tourism sector is coming from the European Travel Commission study, which interviewed almost 6 thousand people across Europe. According to the results, 78% of the respondents are currently planning to travel in Europe as soon as travel bans are lifted.  Their worries, as shown by similar studies, revolve around safety issues, flexible policies and air travel, still perceived as one of the less safe ways to travel in the post-pandemic era.  Read more, a popular Italian travel booking platform, analyzed the main trends of the travel industry in 2021. Staycation and workation will be two very important trends, as they will combine a traditional holiday with smart working and a short trip, not too far from home: both have become priorities for the post-2020 average traveller. Slow travel will also play an important part, as the length of each stay will be slightly longer (as seen by actual booking requests) and will give more time to enjoy the destination. Two other important trends to keep in mind are the growth of family tourism and last minute bookings, to avoid postponements or cancellations. Read more

According to the Travel Trend Report by VRBOFlexcations will be a growing trend in the upcoming year. Defined as a holiday that features all contemporary needs (smart working and online learning), flexcations are considered as a feasible practice in 2021 by 78% of the over 8 thousand families interviewed by Vrbo. The flexcation trend will have a positive impact on the tourism sector: not only will they restart the usual travel routes, but they will also lengthen the stay, as they will not interfere as much as a traditional holiday with work or with school. Read more

To keep the Christmas spirit alive in a time of travel restrictions, Visit Finland launched a special campaign featuring its most popular citizen: Santa Claus. Thanks to “Say it with Santa”, people will be able to send Santa a message and have it read in first person, so it can be shared with those involved. On December 11th Santa Claus will also take over Visit Finland’s social media accounts and will have a private chat with few lucky participants. He will, of course, be broadcasting from its house in Rovaniemi. Read more

The Maldives won the title of World’s Leading Destination during the virtual Grand Final event of the World Travel Awards 2020. This is the first time ever that the Maldives have won this award in the most prestigious category of the World Travel Awards. Read more

To promote business travel in the post-pandemic world and help small businesses overcome the costs of transfers, Marriott International launched a special Marriott Bonvoy program for its European, Middle-Eastern and African market. Small businesses will now benefit from special discounts and no anticipated payments. Over 950 hotels of 24 different brands in 75 countries joined the initiative. Read more 

The Apurva Kempinski Bali, a luxury resort standing atop the cliff of Nusa Dua in Indonesia with 455 rooms and private plunge pools, is the overall winner of the 2020 World Luxury Hotel Awards. Among the winners we find 20 Italian hotels, which were considered to be the best facilities in their respective categories: Global, Continent, Regional and Country. Read more

Four Seasons will launch in 2021 its luxury program “Four Seasons Private Jet”, where subscribers will travel across the world on a redesigned luxury aircraft. Among the selected destinations for the 2022 season, which has already been disclosed, we find a tour of Africa (the pyramids, the Serengeti, Mauritius, Rwanda, Zambia and South Africa), the Pacific Ocean (Hawaii, Bora Bora, Sydney, Bali, Thailand) and South America (including Miami, Mexico City, Easter Island). Read more

IHG Hotels and Resorts just announced a handful of new openings in 2021, despite difficult times for the hospitality industry. Among the new destinations (which will involve different brands of the hospitality group) there are some new and original destinations such as Belgrade, Ras Al Khaimah and the Negev desert in Israel, together with some classics, such as New York, Paris, and Rome. Read more
The United Nations gave their Global United Nations Climate Action Award for Climate Neutral Now 2020 to the Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort of Aruba. The resort won the prestigious award thanks to its “Excelling Beyond Carbon Neutrality” Initiative, which decreased the CO2 footprint on the island, introduced reusable water bottles and attached the gym equipment to the electric system, in order to produce clean energy without polluting. According to manager Ewald Biemans, going full-sustainable is the only way to save the island and its ecosystem from the growing number of visitors. Read more

Airlines and airports are introducing new quick swabs and Covid tests to restart the airline travel industry despite the travel restrictions they underwent this last year. Alitalia and Aeroporti di Roma introduced a Covid Free flight between Rome Fiumicino and Milan Linate, using quick Covid tests before boarding, and now also Delta will use them (starting mid-December) on its flights between Italy and the U.S. (Rome – NY and Atlanta – Rome), as the screening proved to be successful and effective. In the meantime, Lufthansa introduced similar measures on its daily flights between Munich and Hamburg, with passengers that can have a free test and are moved on another flight (without costs or repercussions) shall they decline to do it. Qantas, on the other hand, is planning on making their international passengers do the Covid vaccine (once available) if they want to board their flights. United, Lufthansa, Swiss, Virgin, Jet Blue and Iag are thinking about introducing a “health passport”, that shows if the passenger has already been tested or vaccinated. Read more

Volotea just launched its new Naples-Venice route, with four weekly flights that will rise to seven once air traffic goes back to normal. To encourage bookings, the airline launched a special fare with improved flexibility: in case of Covid19 the passenger will be fully refunded, while the dates booked can be switched at no cost until March 2021. Also, hygiene measures on board have been upgraded. Read more

Thanks to its new fleet of Airbus A321XLR, Jet Blue is now ready to connect the U.S. and Western Europe. London will be their first and most important route, as it has the highest number of requests, but other interesting destinations, especially during the summer season, are Spain, Greece and Italy. This last one, in particular, is said to have tremendous potential when it comes to passenger traffic. Read more

Gardaland Resort, the resort of the popular theme-park Gardaland, has introduced a pet-friendly offer that will debut in the 2021 season. Dogs under 30kg will be welcome in the hotel with a special “Welcome Cookie” and will be regularly listed as guests if they have their canine passport. Small dogs were already welcome inside the park but can now stay overnight with their owners. Read more

The “Borghi più belli d’Italia” association, which promotes tourism in the best villages throughout Italy, has launched the new edition of its official guide, including augmented reality and other perks. Village tourism in Italy showed a strong increase in 2019, with over 4 million visitors, and Covid had a smaller impact in this segment. The guide is now available online and features 792 pages and over 2,500 photos. Read more

The World’s Best 50 Bars 2020, that every year chooses the best places to visit for a drink around the world, stated that the best bar in the world is the Connaught Bar in London, thanks to its innovative mixology approach to modern bartending. The two head mixologists are two Italians: Ago Perrone and Giorgio Bargiani. Read more

An interesting engineering experiment has been conducted in London, where the Nine Elms residence will open the world’s first suspended swimming pool. The pool is 35 metres from the ground and has a transparent floor, to give the bathers the impression of flying. According to its manufacturer, the introduction of such a swimming pool has been possible only thanks to a great technological advance in the field of construction: new materials and new building methods gave it enough stability to be considered safe. Read more

What if a destination could be promoted through video games, especially in this time of travel restrictions? Ghost of Tsushima and Yakuza Like a Dragon, two games just launched for every major gaming console, are certainly up to the task: their depiction of Japan’s past and present is so lively that, according to critics, their gameplay takes second place and leaves room to the setting. Could that be the start of a new trend that unites games and travel? Read more

China has a World Record elevator: it’s the Bailong Sky Lift, which is at the same time the highest outdoor elevator, the highest two-floor elevator and the fastest elevator over passenger capability. Situated in the Zhangjiajie National Park, in the Hunan region, the elevator is over 300m high and carries every day between 8.000 and 14.000 passengers per day. The rock wall on which it’s built inspired James Cameron for its blockbuster movie Avatar. Read more