10% have already been put on the market. The other hotels are waiting for the resumption of low-cost flights, but some might not reopen.
By Enrico Tantucci
19 May 2020
VENEZA. 103 hotels are for sale in Venice, between the historic city and the mainland, almost 10% of the total. The offerings “uploaded” to the specialty site Casa.it – as of yesterday – speak louder than any declaration about the critical situation of the hotel sector in Venice, gripped by the coronavirus emergency. It is not only affecting small hotels. For example, currently for sale at the price of 170 million Euro, are a pair of 4 star hotels on the Canal Grande at San Polo, with over 200 rooms, and two restaurants with terraces.
Some hotels will cautiously reopen towards the end of June, the date referred to by the Director of the Associazione Veneziana Albergatori (AVA, the Venice Hoteliers Association), but the reality is that no one knows when it will possible to resume business with the virus, waiting for the tourists to return. And this is already unleashing a Darwinian effect, a natural selection by which those who have less solid and liquid assets behind them will probably not reopen. They will sell the building, which could end up, at bargain prices, in the hands of some foreign investment fund, as has already happened to several Venetian hotels, starting with Bauer. Or worse, as Scarpa conjectures, they could end up in the hands of organized crime, interested in diversifying their investments and money laundering.
The large groups, for example Marseglia, with the Hilton Molino Stucky (but this goes a bit for all of them), are waiting, and have not at the moment decided on a date to reopen, not even in September. This is because if the American tourists don’t return, but also Russians, who tend to occupy the better quality hotels, it is unthinkable to seriously resume the hotel business as it was before.
“The government has done well caring for workers in the hotel sector with unemployment support – this is something many different people said – but now we must also think about the hotel owners, because one cannot live on unemployment forever, tourist businesses also need to restart. To hold out we need funds and other resources, perhaps in the form of a tax break to be reduced in the years to come. With electronic billing it is easy to establish how much each hotel “produces” annually, and how much it has lost due to the forced closure imposed by the coronavirus emergency. If this is not done, many will not survive in Venice, and only those with considerable resources will be able to wait for the arrival of the restart and then reopen”.
Source: La Nuova Venezia