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What is the state of tourism?

Di Antonio Caneva, 1 Agosto 2003

We have reached the summer closing of our newspaper: three weeks during which we can reflect and recharge our batteries before the autumn. Lots of plans to work in the next few weeks, generally bigger than we would be able to bear out. But this is the best side of a person: planning and dreaming; never mind if we sometimes dream more than we should, daily life will take care of forcing our feet back on the ground.
The current situation should not prompt great optimism, after months of difficulties mixed with the most incredible calamities, from war to epidemics, through economic crisis and climate change, we are faced with a tourist season that hold contradictory prospects; it should be expectedly favourable, but for the moment has only shown signs of malaise, and even the extraordinary weather conditions (favourable to leisure tourism) may not be sufficient to turn around a season that has started off badly.
A few timid signs of recovery can be seen elsewhere in the world: Germany (our main partner) is beginning to look at its figures with more confidence; after the SARS tragedy, Asia is slowly recuperating strength; the War on Iraq – somehow or other – is over, even though the country is still far from being stabilised; the USA economy is showing some initial signs of recovery, and even the stock market of that country is beginning to pick up again after the period of the big scandals. True, this is all very precarious, but nowadays we need to learn and live with uncertainty. What is certain, however, is that in the next few months a great number of hotels will open their doors (at least in the large cities), and this means greater dynamicity.
The Bank of Italy Governor warns us of a possible decline of the Italian economic system, and in the meantime we are setting up new businesses: it is true that our country is rich in contrasts as well as in inventiveness.
Let us take a rest now (those of us who can): when we get back to work we are going to need all of our energy.

Translation of the Italian
editorial by Paola Praloran

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