The real phase 2 for high-end Italian products can only really begin with luxury tourism. Leonardo Ferragamo, son of Salvatore and manager of the high-end group, is sure of it. So sure, inf act, that he suggested the government creates an ad-hoc ministry, which always according to him is the only way to show that they have understood the value of the hospitality segment for high-end manufacturing in Italy. After all, it’s true that the national luxury market is tied to the comings of international big spenders.
The recovery of luxury tourism
The Coronavirus pandemic left a mark. “2020 will be a year to forget if we loot to revenue alone – explains Mr. Ferragamo to Il Sole 24 Ore -. I do believe, however, that we can hope for national tourism, which won’t cover the lacked income from foreigners, but that will have the advantage of leading people to rediscover the country”. The restrictions on travel will not just have an impact on the business of hotel chains and similar (even though the “hospitality” segment is “third after automotive and personal luxury”).
“The damage will be shared by all, high-end segment included – reminds Ferragamo -. It’s enough to know that about 60% of all personal high-end consumer goods in Italy is sold to international tourists, against the globe’s 40% average, according to Bain”.
Weak domestic market
Those with knowledge of reports published by Assopellettieri and Assocalzaturifici (Italina segment associations) know that the domestic market is (traditionally) weak. Brands cannot put their faith in it, and thus this coming season will be downward. This is just another reason that highlights the strategic importance of being capable to receive international guests.
“I have a dream that I hope will be realized – continues Mr. Ferragamo – on which Altagamma (foundation of which he is honorary president) has been working for a while. I would like there to be a Ministry of Tourism that can act as the entity representing Italy around the world and among many sectors: hospitality, culture (which includes craftsmanship) and sports. It would be an unmistakable signal that tourism, in its wider sense, is considered as the true economic engine of the country, and thus be the engine to help the country recover after the pandemic”.