Tourism: €10 billion of new credit to support businesses

The image that accompanies the news on the signing of the the agreement "Designing a New Sustainable Tourism", represents the Gulf of Naples at sunset

Intesa Sanpaolo is renewing its commitment to the tourism industry by signing the agreement "Designing a New Sustainable Tourism" with which it is allocating €10 billion of new credit – of which €3 billion for southern Italy – to encourage investment, strengthen the sustainable transition of hospitality facilities, and help sector SMEs to seize the opportunities provided by the NRRP and ministerial initiatives.

Also signed by Confindustria Alberghi, Federalberghi, Federterme and Federturismo, "Designing a New Sustainable Tourism" will enable companies in the tourism sector to accelerate investments in:

  • upgrading and increasing standards of quality of facilities
  • environmental sustainability through the renovation of facilities and services
  • digitalisation of the service model

facilitating the availability of new hospitality offerings that are more efficient for companies' budgets and better for the environment.

The tourism industry is one of the leading sectors of the Italian and southern Italian economy that can make the economic recovery structural already this year. Today, it is crucial to initiate an investment policy that is suitable for increasing and maintaining our competitive advantage over time and enhancing our natural, cultural and culinary heritage in terms of the quality of our hospitality.

Stefano Barrese, Head of Intesa Sanpaolo's Banca dei Territori Division

A snapshot of tourism in the South - SRM report summary

The latest available data indicate: 80 million nights spent (20% of Italy), 3.8 days average stay, 87% seasonality (presences in the summer months), 22% foreign presences (still recovering post Covid). Hotel beds making up 28.7% of the total Italy (rising to 54.4% for 4- and 5-star hotels) and 22.7% of non-hotel beds. An added value of €23.7 billion (25% of the nationwide total).

In 2023, the South is expected to see a full recovery in tourist numbers. Compared to 2019, the figure is estimated to grow by 1.5% to a total of almost 88 million nights spent. The recovery of international demand will continue, with strong intensity, estimated to grow by 21.9% compared to 2022, completing the recovery of the pre-Covid period (99.4% compared to the 2019 value).

Southern Italian tourism in the European context: strong positioning but ample room for improvement. From the analysis of 98 regions in the EU4 area (Italy, Spain, France and Germany), three southern regions (Sardinia, Campania and Puglia) are among the top 30 in terms of tourism competitiveness and six are above the European average. There is ample room for growth in both quantity and quality. There is a need to improve and expand connection and accessibility infrastructure in the area.

In the South, the goal must be tourism that offers increasingly diversified, high-quality destinations in order to favour de-seasonalisation and economic impact on the community. Environment, culture and cuisine is a winning combination in the South: the presence multiplier of an "integrated" offer is higher than for a single-focus destination, such as a seaside resort (€149 compared to €128.2 added value per night spent). Such an objective can help reduce the negative effects of "overtourism" and undeclared work.

There is a growing awareness among southern companies that investing is the only way to grow. The SRM survey shows that more than 50% of tourist accommodation enterprises in the South have made investments in the last three years (46% in Italy). Great attention has been paid to growth in size (35% upgraded their facilities) and to the quality of hospitality (34% renovated their furnishings or expanded their hospitality services).

There is also a focus on the future. Southern Italian companies understand the challenge of sustainability (ESG) and digitalisation. Of the total, 46% of southern Italian companies (35% nationwide in Italy) intend to increase their investments towards these objectives, which are currently estimated at €170 million in the South alone. Companies expect such investments to grow by more than 7% over the next three years.

Southern Italian companies are determined to improve their competitiveness standards. Two-thirds (66%) of the companies in the region indicate training, size growth and energy efficiency as the priority areas of action in which they intend to invest over the next five years.

Bureaucratic simplification, technological and digital infrastructure, and a specialised, high-quality training system are the priorities that Southern Italian companies hope for from public governance. About a quarter (25%) of companies put these three objectives at the top of their policy demands to foster Italy's competitiveness

Find out more about some of Intesa Sanpaolo's recent initiatives to support the tourism sector:

To stimulate energy independence processes

To stimulate energy independence processes, Intesa Sanpaolo's strategic programme "Motore Italia Transizione Energetica" was also extended to companies in the tourism sector. Find out more

To help revitalise Italian hospitality facilities

To help revitalise Italian hospitality facilities, Intesa Sanpaolo has launched the Suite Loan and S-Loan Turismo, types of loans with bonus mechanisms in terms of a reduction on the rate applied for companies investing to improve their sustainability profile. Find out more

To facilitate the use of the NRRP funds

To facilitate the use of the NRRP funds, Intesa Sanpaolo has made available, free of charge, the IncentNow platform, designed to enable companies to orient themselves regarding the public measures available from time to time. Find out more…