Andrea Hausold - Jun 20, 2023
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A month after severe storms and flooding hit the northern Italian region of Emilia Romagna, Adriatic coast resorts struggle to recover. Beaches have been cleared of wood and debris after floods, and huts have been repainted. The hotels are open, as are the beach resorts. The railway line between Rimini and Bologna reopened a few days ago, making it easier for holidaymakers to get to the sea.

The few beachgoers are mainly Italian. Many foreigners, especially from Germany, are missing. The situation on the Riviera is likely to have brought back memories in Germany of the floods in the Ahr Valley in 2021, which killed at least 134 people. As a result, many German tourists cancel their holidays on the Riviera.

One in two Germans canceled their June holiday in Romagna, and there are about 25 percent cancellations for July. This is due to the misconception in Germany that coastal areas were also affected by heavy flooding.

Riviera seaside resorts were largely spared. The international media, which unjustifiably described Rimini as a "flooded holiday paradise, " significantly damaged tourism demand in the area.

Most holiday cancelations come from online travel agencies such as Booking and Expedia. These agencies are used mainly by customers who choose their holidays based on the price and services offered, but also on the flexibility with which they can cancel their trips.

German tourists who canceled their holidays in Italy opted for resorts in Spain, Greece, and Croatia, Italy's main competitors for beach holidays. 90 percent of German tourists travel to the Adriatic by car, so they are more flexible and can easily choose another holiday destination.

Emilia Romagna region hopes for a lucrative summer

Tourists from other European countries, such as France, Scandinavia, and Eastern Europe, who come to Romagna by air or on organized tours, behave differently. There have been very few cancellations from this group.

Quantifying the revenue lost due to cancellations is currently difficult, but the region hopes for a cheerful summer exceeding pre-pandemic year 2019.

The tourist region relies mainly on domestic tourists. With galloping inflation and high energy costs, Italians may have to dig deeper into their pockets for their usual summer holiday. Still, most want to take advantage of their long-awaited 'vacanze.'

Summer holidays in Italy are more expensive

Summer holidays could become up to 40 percent more expensive because of high energy prices and rising airfare costs. A research institute that studies Italian holiday habits calculates that the cost of accommodation, return flights, and beach services will increase significantly this year.

Families will also have to spend more on their return journeys, whether by car, bus, plane, or train, mainly due to the sharp rise in energy prices. Ferry tickets will also be up to ten percent more expensive.

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