Holiday bonus is already a flop? 4 out of 100 hotels accept it

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From yesterday, Wednesday 1 July 2020, you can request the holiday bonus of up to 500 euros  for summer 2020, provided for by the Relaunch Decree and  wanted by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Tourism to encourage tourism in Italy after the crisis linked to the  Coronavirus : yet, after the first day, the bonus is a candidate to become a flop . Not so much for the number of requests (there are already 134 thousand subsidies paid, for a value of over 62 million out
Of the 2.4 billion euros allocated), but as for the number of hotels  that accept customers to pay with the voucher. According to an investigation conducted by the  Corriere della Sera, who tried to book the facilities using the holiday bonus, only 4 hotels out of 100 allow to use the subsidy.
The reason could be due to the long time frames, for the owners of the accommodation facilities, to get the refund of the bonus. In fact, the amount assigned to the customer must be spent for 80 percent in the form of a discount for the payment of the overnight stay and for 20 percent as a tax deduction in the tax return. As for 80 percent, hoteliers will recover that amount through the tax credit. “But it must be clear – said Barnabò Bocca, president of Federalberghi, to Corriere della Sera – that the recovery of the credit takes place immediately, the following month with the F24 and not with the tax return after a year”.

Just the delays in getting the bonus refund would be pushing hoteliers not to join the project. In the investigation carried out by the  Courier on italyhotels.it (a site that combines a large number of structures, created by Federalberghi), when trying to book a double room for three nights (1-4 July), the positive answers to the question of whether you can take advantage of the holiday bonus there were very few: 1,151 out of the 27,370 offers on the site, around 4.2 percent. The region with the highest number of hotels available for the bonus is Emilia-Romagna: 233 out of 4,275. In Lombardy there are 88 out of 2,531, in Liguria 56 out of 1,284, in Sardinia 33 out of 740, in Sicily 56 out of 1,064. And even zero hotels in Basilicata, Calabria and Molise. On individual cities, the data of Rome (35 hotels out of 976), Milan (2 out of 393) and Florence (22 out of 335) is surprising.

The Federalberghi president, Bocca, however, denies that hotels do not accept the holiday bonus: “I hear controversy around hotels that do not accept the bonus, it is a falsehood. With this situation, I don’t think anyone sends customers away even with the holiday voucher. We also have jobs of 20-30 percent, let alone if we don’t accept everything that comes. Then if you maybe think of using a holiday voucher on August 15th in Forte dei Marmi there will probably be some difficulties. We will be happy if many families download the coupons, come to the hotels and we will be proved wrong. We await them with open arms, however, I repeat that the situation of Italian hotels is very serious and very heavy, there are no signs of recovery, even the slightest “.

Despite the pitiless numbers, yesterday the Minister of Tourism Dario Franceschini said he was confident about the holiday bonus and replied to Matteo Salvini, who called the subsidy “insane”: “I inform Salvini that while he cheers for a flop of the holiday bonus on skin of citizens and hotels, the bonuses already paid since midnight have exceeded 100,000 and the average waiting time between request and reception is 1 minute “. The hope now is that the government will ensure that more and more structures adhere to the project, to ensure that the subsidy is truly exploited to give input to Italian tourism. The holiday bonus, let’s remember, provides up to 500 euros for families of at least three people, to be used for holiday expenses in Italian camping hotels, agritourisms and b & bs, without however the use of intermediaries (such as Airbnb or Booking). The amount drops to 300 euros for families of two and 150 euros for singles.

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