Even from the vantage point of the privileged observer who is in daily contact with business insiders, it is difficult to identify any clear trends in tourism, at least in our country. Discouraging signals are coming from America and Asia; in Hong Kong, for example, they have suspended all projects for five of the six hotels which were to open next year; in the meantime, however, there are rumours of large international groups of the tourist business showing an interest in tour operators, in a climate of consolidation, and as a proof of the sector’s vitality. Though suffering temporary slowdowns, Italian projects are moving ahead, as has been confirmed by our visit to the Milanese event Expotour for hotel furniture, fixtures and equipment. Exhibitors were more numerous than ever, and have generally conveyed a feeling of cautious optimism for the future. The recruitment of human resources in the sector, as we draw close to the beginning of the winter season, is closely tuned onto the developments of the search for Bin Laden and the current airline difficulties. Operators are undecided, torn between imminent operational needs and the caution suggested by unfortunate experiences. It consequently happens that ads are booked, to be later cancelled at the first signs of a possible negative international development, and then reconfirmed when the emergency is over. The whole tourist system is moving on by tentative steps. Fortunately it now seems that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Uncertainties in tourism
Di Antonio Caneva English translation Paola Pr, 23 Novembre 2001