Job In Tourism > News > Editoriale > The economic crisis: we are all children

The economic crisis: we are all children

Di Antonio Caneva, 13 febbraio 2014

The child was walking ahead of me, holding his mother’s hand, the other hand closed in a fist.
The mother was trying to comfort him, saying ” It’s ok, do not worry, you will see that…”. I missed the rest of the conversation, when they turned through the gate of the children’s hospital. Out of the corner of my eye I could see the thinnish blond little boy walking on stiffly, like a little puppet, being consoled by his mom.
Children often do not know what expects them in the various phases of life, and they are scared. Grownups, too, sometimes have to face altogether new and unknown situations, and feel disoriented. They maker recourse to previous experiences, or turn to experts who often have the only merit of being good at exploiting fears and opportunities to their own advantage.
This has happened during the current economic crisis; we had no recollection of similar events, and have been caught by surprise. What did we have to do with U.S. subprime mortgages? Well, we did have something to do with it, that is for sure, even though we were not able to understand it immediately, and then is were the negative spiral started.
In the early times of the crisis somebody sought advice from “gurus” who prophesised the most diverse scenarios, and provided some bizarre recipes. I still remember a conversation with the chairman of a hotel group who convincedly reported the indications of an important (and costly) study he had commissioned from a U.S. company – the economic crisis would be over in two, maximum three years. The reality is here for everyone to see.
How are things going now?
In an interesting article in Corriere della Sera, Gian Antonio Stella depicts a two-speed scenario: positive for tourism in the world, but negative for our country, which is losing competitiveness and market share. He also adds that the economists of the WTTC ( World Travel & Tourism Council) forecast that, in the next ten years, only 9 out of the 181 countries monitored will grow less than Italy. I would rather not write too many figures: if you are interested and curious, let me invite you to read the article I mentioned, which was published in Corriere Domenica on 9 February, on page 17, or the analysis appearing in this issue of Job In Tourism, on page ……
For Italy, the analyses of recent data clearly point to a growth of incoming tourism, with a corresponding drop in internal tourism.
According to recent ISTAT statistical surveys, our country’s GDP is expected to have left the negative zone in the fourth quarter 2013, on its way to grow by about 0.8% in the current year. Nothing spectacular, true, but this could be the trigger for a recovery in domestic tourism, which may add itself to foreign tourism.
In order to create a lasting virtuous circle, however, a slight economic recovery will not be sufficient. It will be necessary to take action and put a remedy to the elements that slow down development, in a political, organisational and business management perspective; if we cannot make good use of the experiences of these last few years, we will hardly be able to develop the energy for a recovery, and will doom ourselves to irreversible decadence.

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