The first holly berries are now starting to turn red on the terrace, and this is a sign that summer is truly over; now is when the economy starts up its engine again, and we try to catch a glimpse of future scenarios.
Already once, at the beginning of the year, I had made a positive forecast which was later proven wrong by facts: Now I do not want to repeat the same mistake, particularly as the scene has never been so full of lights and shadows.
The European Central Bank has announced that economic recovery in Europe is under way, but has also immediately added that a few important countries, among which Italy, find themselves at risk due to high deficit levels.
The threat of terrorism is ever present, and generates a climate of widespread anxiety. People may feel tempted to hide their heads under the covers… but new, important projects affecting the whole country are ready to take off; to mention just two leading examples, an important Kempinski resort is opening up at Mazara del Vallo in Sicily while, at the opposite side of Italy, Turin Hotels is opening a five-star hotel in Turin.
The only locations that withstood the “freezing cold” of this summer have been the art cities, which, too, however, need adequate promotional and regulatory support. In an interview by Emiliano Fittipaldi in the Corriere della Sera of 10th August, Roberto Ruozi, President of the Italian Touring Club, said: “Politicians have sadly left tourism to its fate…” and further on “…. What matters is that somebody, at national level, returns the attention to a sector which is decisive for the economy of the Country. Tourism accounts for about 10% of the GDP…”.
Conflicting signs from a country which is wealthy but struggling, has to measure up to the tourist offers of neighbouring countries, but simultaneously manages to be a protagonist in the Year of Culture (Genoa) and the coming Winter Olympics (Turin).
In the end, we are left with no other alternatives except to roll up our sleeves, and try, as usual, to make up for this state of uncertainty by our hard work.
Translation of the Italian
editorial by Paola Praloran