Treviso, Monday 15th February 2021
The President of Unioncamere Veneto, Mario Pozza, commented on the decision to extend the closure of ski facilities until March 5:
It is a decision that represents a hard blow for operators and also for the induced. The fact that it came just a few hours before the opening of the ski lifts is an enormous damage that aggravates even more the difficult situation. In fact, the owners of the facilities had purchased materials, alerted the staff and performed maintenance and now they are in lockdown again. And the same is true for the induced ones that is from the restaurants to the hotels that had acquired supplies and food. Who has realized these investments cannot return back for this serve immediate refreshments.
The possibility of reopening had generated expectations and operators had worked hard to be ready and ensure safety. And then with a last minute decision it is decided to keep everything closed sending up in smoke work and resources spent by those who are already in difficulty. It is a hard blow to the mountain economy at 360 degrees.
The closure of the ski runs, according to the data, has a direct impact on the cableway industry, which in the whole of Veneto generates a turnover of about 70 million euros (according to the balance sheets filed with the Chambers of Commerce), 60 million of which are attributable to the Belluno facilities. Obviously, the repercussions will be inevitable for all induced activities, hotels and restaurants in primis, as well as local handicrafts.
It's not a good start for the government, but it can happen. Surely this decision brings with it the distortions of the previous model with choices made from above without dialogue with those who really know the sector and the territory. For example, I wonder why they did not try to investigate the issue by studying the different types of plants and leaving open perhaps those less at risk? Why wasn't the presence of fewer tourists evaluated due to the closure of regional borders? These are factors that could have been reported immediately by those in charge and that would have allowed to take different and more targeted decisions in the awareness of the importance of protecting health.
The important thing now is to ensure refreshments quickly and to those who really need them. The ski facilities have important costs even if the slopes are closed and for this reason we must ensure support to the tourism sector that in Veneto, the first region in Italy for presences, is worth about 50% of GDP.