Aeolian. On Sunday the hydrofoil rides will be reduced, Federalberghi Sicily writes to the Region. – The Metropolitan Diary

Aeolian. On Sunday the hydrofoil rides will be reduced, Federalberghi Sicily writes to the Region. – The Metropolitan Diary
Aeolian. On Sunday the hydrofoil rides will be reduced, Federalberghi Sicily writes to the Region. – The Metropolitan Diary
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The warm temperatures that persist even in the month of September, continually register a non-stop flow of tourists on the Aeolian Islands that has not been seen for some time. But to undermine the serenity of the commercial activities that continue to work at full capacity, the news of the cut of the hydrofoils that will start on Sunday 18. A decision that would inevitably lead to inconvenience for the tourist who still wants to reach the Aeolian Islands.

Great is the concern raised by Federalberghi, which pending the extraordinary municipal council that will take place tomorrow morning, in which the four Aeolian administrations will meet, sent a letter to the Ministry of Transport and the Sicilian Region, asking to extend the summer hours to September 30 (operation already done for the Egadi Islands).

In the letter there are several proposals made by the group, which also touch on the very current problem of expensive bills, the health system and the need to enhance tourism promotion by drawing on collaboration between different realities.

The letter signed by the President Federalberghi Minor Islands of Sicily Christian Del Bono.

Priority for the Sicilian minor islands in view of the elections

Sea and air connections

For the former, there is an absolute need for local communities to take an active role in all phases of definition and monitoring of services. As far as essential maritime connections are concerned, the State must guarantee the necessary amounts in order not to change the assets downwards and exclude the possibility of making unjustified tariff increases. For supplementary services, the Region must do the same, intervening with additional funds where those allocated for the five-year tender are not sufficient to guarantee the necessary services and the facilities requested.

In the immediate future, we have asked Councilor Falcone on several occasions for an extension of the summer hours to 30 September, as also provided for by the new call, in order not to create a deterrent to visit our islands in a period in which tourist flows they are still very much supported.

For air connections on Pantelleria and Lampedusa it is necessary to avoid the impasse situations that this year, for example, have led to an extension of the agreements only under date, making flights not bookable for a long time. This generates uncertainty and therefore damage to the tourism system.

Ports

Regional funds are needed to strengthen the ports of the smaller islands so that each island has landings that allow it to operate safely in different weather conditions.

Tourism promotion

It is necessary to consolidate and strengthen the path started through the collaboration between the DMO of the Minor Islands and the Tourism Department of the Sicilian Region which in recent years has reserved spaces dedicated to DMO in tourist fairs. The hope is that this collaboration can also be extended to other forms of planned promotion, such as: digital marketing, the organization of workshops with tour operators and that of educationals with influencers and journalists.

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The adoption of the CIR should be widely disseminated, appropriately raising awareness of the territory, interacting with the OTAs and initiating the necessary checks on the territory in collaboration with the Metropolitan Cities, Local Authorities and the most representative Category Associations.

Minor Islands Office

We hope that the minor islands office in the Sicilian Region will be promptly reactivated on all matters of greatest interest (water service, waste collection and disposal service, maritime connections, health, education, etc.) acting as a goad and link with the Presidency. and the other regional departments.

Health

We believe that the health issue is of fundamental importance for the smaller islands. It must be addressed considering the peculiarities of the individual islands, guaranteeing the essential levels of assistance needed, strengthening the existing hospitals (notwithstanding the Balduzzi decree) and all other forms of assistance present on the islands, adapting them to the characteristics of the territory.

Economic diversification, seasonal adjustment and depopulation

It is necessary to create opportunities for economic diversification by favoring those more in line with the characteristics of the territory, such as agriculture and typical products. At the same time it is necessary to create the organizational and structural conditions to allow for the reception of tourist flows throughout the year, thus offering new and lasting job opportunities capable of reversing the depopulation process of the small islands.

Electricity and gas increases

At the end of August we raised the alarm for the small Sicilian islands where there is a risk of a significant contraction of the tourist season due to the abnormal increases in electricity and gas bills. The increases in recent months and in particular in July and August, together with those expected for the subsequent period, have led some structures to bring forward the expected closing date. The reason is simple, the accounts for the months of July and August 2022 are more than tripled compared to those of the same period of 2021; over 18% of the sector’s turnover is absorbed by the payment of electricity and gas supplies. Therefore, we find ourselves with the concrete impossibility of not being able to make a loss in the low season when the collections are considerably reduced and some costs (in fact mainly fixed) have a greater impact on the company income statement. For these reasons, we immediately asked the Government for a measure to sterilize the increases, recognizing a tax credit that compensates for the record increases recorded so far, providing for an extension to the entire second half of 2022.


The article is in Italian

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