Bad weather & domestic economic decline hinder Puglia’s early summer tourism season

Puglia’s peak summer tourism season is off to a less than stellar start. Although bad weather as well as economic factors are affecting stays at the region’s resorts among travelers from within Italy, the international visitor market to Puglia is performing better, albeit not strong enough to offset the domestic slowness. That puts Puglia in a difficult position, as with many resort destinations that generate most of their tourism revenues from summer stays.

Francesco De Carlo, regional president as well as president for Bari province of Assohotel-Confesercenti, an organization representing about 480 hotels, told La Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno that initial data shows that summer tourism arrivals so far are lower than expected, although the luxury segment of the market is performing well. Bad weather is one factor, he said, as “rain and clouds often have ruined” vacation plans, but he added that the situation is worsened by the inability or unwillingness of domestic travelers to pay the same rates paid for accommodations in years past.

De Carlo told the newspaper, “Weather can create some more problems to (seaside) locations…We were ready, the beaches were clean, but the weather did not help us…Foreigners who had already booked destinations have not changed (their plans),” but many Italians have postponed or canceled their trips.

This information highlights the necessity for any tourism destination, but Puglia in particular, to diversify its visitor industry so that problems such as bad weather at beach resorts or declines in the domestic economy can be offset by strong international traffic to locales beyond the beaches. The magnificent beaches of Salento and Gargano attract visitors from around the world, and that’s a huge boost to Puglia’s economy, but the region is fortunate to have so much potential to also generate significant international tourism arrivals with itineraries based on culture, history, art and food and wine. That potential can be realized when all parties, public and private, regional provincial and local, work together in a united effort to make Puglia a “must-see” destination.

Photo © Copyright Sandro Bedessi/Fototeca ENIT

Leave a Reply