According to AVA President Bonacini: The acqua granda of 12 November lasted an hour and a half but it has caused reservations to collapse.
20 December 2019
VENEZIA. Hotels owners are saying “come back to Venice, there is no emergency”. There has been a flood of cancellations for the beginning of 2020, and for New Year’s there is a 50% decline. “Come back to Venice. You will find a beautiful and sustainable city that returned to normal in a few hours”. A month after the exceptional “acqua granda” event of 12 November, this appeal arrives from the Venetian Hoteliers Association, directly to the Foreign Press Office in Rome, to avert the damage on top of the damage: the effect that the images of the submerged city have had on tourists all over the world.
“From mid-November – recounts AVA President Vittorio Bonacini – we have been experiencing an unprecedented drop in reservations, with a variation not recorded even after the attack on the Twin Towers. In the first month we had a peak cancellation rate of 45%” with a loss “that is continues unabated in the first months of 2020 as well, including cancellations of events, conventions and other important events planned in the city up through next spring”.
“While Christmas has never been a sold-out period – he continues – the data for the New Year’s Eve is striking: last year occupancy was at 100%, this year, under 50%. The images were seen around the world, which is normal, but that tide was an anomaly provoked by the very rare coincidence of four factors that are all sporadic. What is not being told – asserts Bonanini – is that the whole thing lasted an hour and half, that after three hours the tide left Venice and that the city quickly reclaimed its life”.
“With my collaborators – assures AVA Vicepresident Stefania Rea – we removed the water at night and our customers at breakfast did not even notice what had happened”. The drastic drop in reservations affects the 400 properties of the AVA Hoteliers, but also restaurants, retailers, crafts stores, and comes mostly, but not only, from the American and English markets, which along with the French, says AVA Director Claudio Scarpa, “represent about 40% of tourism income in the city”.
Source: La Nuova Venezia
[Ed. note: this blog recently posted a story about the impacts of the floods in November on small businesses and individuals. Now we have a major tourist industry group facing huge losses and calling for help. The “acqua granda was no big deal” message they are promoting – as though there had not been several more acqua alta events in the days just after 12 November – seems to be commensurate with the alarm that a 50% occupancy rate on New Years Eve might cause. Just a night’s cleanup or a catastrophe that destroyed homes, businesses and priceless objects of all sorts, either way it looks like the economic impact of the acqua granda of 2019 is being felt at all levels.]