Rome

Italian hotels lowering rates to lure off-season tourists

More than 1/3 slash prices, some by 50% amid crisis

Italian hotels lowering rates to lure off-season tourists

(ANSA) - Rome, September 11 - More than one third of Italian hotels say they will lower their rates this fall even more than they did one year ago, according to a recent survey of hotel managers conducted by travel site TripAdvisor. With the recession dragging, hotel managers are slashing rates to keep beds full, some by as much as 50%, as the tourism sector - a key driver of the Italian economy - continues to struggle. According to the survey, 16% of Italian hotel managers plan to reduce rates by 1-10%, 14% by 11-20% and 6% by 21-50%, while just over 45% plan to keep their rates the same as last year during the same season. As far as hotel managers' perception of the economic crisis, opinions stayed the same in 2012, with 31% predicting no change in the current situation. Some 27% were optimistic, predicting a better fall season than 2011, though not by much. Just under 25% had opposite feelings, predicting a slightly worse 2012 post-summer season, and 10% thought the season would be considerably worse all around. In the study's list of top five most pessimistic hotel managers, Italy ranked behind only Greece. Indonesia and Brazil were the world's most optimistic, followed by Russia, the United States and India. A surprising outcome of the study showed that Italy was behind only France in hotel managers who said they were taking more eco-friendly measures in 2012, with 83% opting for green alternatives. Among the most common retrofitting measures in Italy were energy-saving light bulbs, with 85% of hoteliers reporting to have adopted the practice, followed by composting leftover food products (52%) and in-room adjustable thermostats (52%). Some 72% of hotels said the primary driver for adopting green measures was to save money, 41% said to suit guests and 26% said it was to stay in line with the times.

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