There is a climate of trust in the air. This is demonstrated by the numerous bookings in the Valdarno accommodation facilities on the occasion of the Easter weekend. There are many Italians who took advantage of Easter Monday to disconnect from the routine and indulge in the now traditional outing, also thanks to the sunny weather of these days. Foreigners also return to repopulate the valley between Arezzo, Siena and Florence. On the other hand, abroad the charm of Made in Tuscany continues to be an attraction that has not slowed down even in the warm season during the full pandemic. Of course, the numbers prior to the Covid 19 emergency have not yet been recorded, but there are signs of recovery. To take stock of the situation on this long weekend is Tiziana Gavilli, for over 25 years at the helm of the Villa Barberino resort in Meleto Valdarno, awarded the title of Master of Commerce for the activity carried out in the catering and tourism sector. “We must be happy if we look at the period we leave behind – explains Gavilli – Something is moving, there are questions and reservations. The pre-pandemic numbers are not yet recorded, but between Covid and wars, if there are people who intend travel is welcome. If we think only that last year, just in these days, the accommodation facilities were closed, we must rejoice without a shadow of a doubt “. We are not sold out, but the conditions for the summer to date are good. However, the unpredictability factor remains on the plate. “These years – continues the owner of the structure – have accustomed us to reservations canceled at the last minute due to the positivity to the virus of customers who should have reached us in our farm or in our restaurant. We have many requests, but I remain with the feet firmly planted on the ground considering what we have seen in the recent past. The numbers are therefore subject to sudden changes, but I always try to look at the glass half full. People call, ask, take an interest. There is a desire to start over and to start again, but I want to proceed with caution without making too optimistic forecasts “.
The clientele has also changed. If until a few years ago the Valdarno was the exclusive holiday destination for Germans, English and Dutch, now it has become a place of passage and discovery for tourists who come from all over Italy. “The clientele in this period is made up of 70% Italians – explains Gavilli – a figure that is certainly in contrast with the years prior to 2020, since our valley has always been one of the favorite places for foreigners. The presence of Italians it has increased significantly because they are rediscovering the beauties of the boot. Not being able to leave Italy in recent years due to Covid, they traveled Italy from north to south, also stopping in our Valdarno “.
If on the one hand there is a moderate optimism, on the other hand the problem of the lack of staff in the hotels will return with insistence. After the closure of the accommodation facilities due to the coronavirus, the staff who worked there in many cases opted for other professions. As reported on several occasions by the trade associations, tour operators still find it difficult to find seasonal workers and this could jeopardize the upcoming summer.