The minister immediately canceled the decisions to open ski slopes taken by the provinces on the basis of measures taken by the previous government. Among other things, the Alpine region of Lombardy, Piedmont, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto planned to reopen the ski slopes, which had been closing slowly for a year, from February 15. Health authorities have not supported the relaunch of ski tourism due to mutations in the new Coronavirus, especially the strong spread of the Great British variant, which mainly affects regions in northern Italy.
The regions protested the ministry’s ban at the last minute.
This was a huge loss, said Daniel Damario, head of tourism for the Council of Regions, because everything in the Italian Alps was ready to receive tourists safely. He stressed that the Ministry of Health has delayed reopening the ski slopes four times in recent months and has now stopped again at the last minute.
The mayor of Bardonecia, Piedmont, better known as the winter resort, has described Rome’s hesitation as a joke for Francisco Avati. He said he considered France more serious, as the ski slopes were closed and workers in the sector were not fooled.
Giancarlo Giorgetti, the League’s party minister who took office on Saturday, said the ski season was over. Giorgetti called for immediate financial assistance for ski tourism in northern Italy. He pointed out that 4.5 billion euros of public funds promised so far is not enough.
The sector has annual sales of 12 billion euros and employs 400,000 people, including hospitality in the ski area. Ski tourism in Italy receives 4 million visitors annually, a third of them between December and January.
Cover photo: Getty Images