Turismo Soffre ( Tourism Suffers)

Conflicting headlines today on tourism which everyone here seems to be beginning to believe should be a no brainer way of the country digging its way out of the recessionary hole it is in. The Labour Ministry report loads of jobs are available in the sector for seasonal work 57,000 of which are here in the south. So that is a hurrah. The bad news is that 2012 saw a 6% decline in visitors from abroad while total worldwide international tourism increased substantially and this year to date it has fallen 7%. So that is an oh.

The wise men of the tourist industry have had a big meeting in Rome to “discuss” what needs to be done and have come out as always with a series of “initiatives” that the government, the tourist boards etc should undertake in order to try to catch up with Spain where visitor numbers are booming.  Of course the elephant in the room ( where did that expression come from ?) that nobody talks about is the expense of holidaying in Italy. Spain is booming because it has lowered it’s prices, Greece will have a better year because it has started to and Italy won’t until it does. €64 for 4 ice creams stories don’t help !

The other big issue is with  those 57,000 jobs as they are all black economy jobs. We have friends here whose kids have left school and are job hunting.  There are plenty of jobs for seasonal work and luckily they are mainly girls as all the ads for restaurants say , “young attractive girl no more than 25 years old” now I thought there were EU Laws about that ? Anyway they bowl up and either the job is €300 ( $230, £260) a month cash in hand  and (remember there is almost no tipping here as the cover charge is the tip ) for 7 days a week lunch shift and evening shift plus cleaning the restaurant at the end of the evening shift or the new wheeze is ” we will try you for 2 weeks while you work for nothing  but tips and then if we like you we might keep you ” Two weeks later the young girl sees an ad for her job appear and a queue of girls waiting. So for the summer the owner gets a free workforce. To add insult to injury the tax people issued the average amount of all the declarations of income for 2011 today and bars and restaurants declared an average turnover in 2011 of just €18,000 . Hmmm ?

Italian love songs with kind of heavy background singers is what I thought  I might feature this week.

I really found Mola di Bari to be a great spot yesterday but then I am a sucker for working towns rather than some of the more Disneyland type places. I am heading back there on Wednesday to see the big fish market . It should be good value for money at the moment as it clearly came to the notice of the authorities. So far in the last two months they have been raided by the Finance boys who checked they were giving receipts, the weights and measure lads who took all the scales away ( that isn’t a pun on the fish) and checked them, the fishery police who found fish smaller than allowed by EU law and the coast guard who didn’t find anything. So I expect to get my fish at the right price, at the right weight and the right size. Then I can beetle off to that little bar I found and enjoy a couple of ales at the right price too. Here is the big piazza there.

Piazza XX Settembre


So Paradiso revisited


About hereinpuglia

Retired to Puglia after some 40 years in the travel industry working for P&O Lines, British Airways, Alamo rent-a-car,Abercrombie&Kent, owner of Quest Tours and Travel and finally with Thomas Cook North America. Married to Geraldine we now have a small house with too much land near the town of Martina Franca in Puglia. Two kids one married and living in Hong Kong and the other single and living in London. No dogs, no cats no animals.
This entry was posted in Driving in Italy, Expat Italy, Ferries From Bari, Puglia Living, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Turismo Soffre ( Tourism Suffers)

  1. I spent most of my early childhood sitting in front of that fountain waiting for the newsstand near by to open so that I could buy comic books. The fountain has a sinister beginning, it was built by the Fascists in the early 1930’s. Mola di Bari is not that old by European standards, it was founded in 1277 by Charles d’Anjou king of France when he decided to build a castle in order to fight piracy.

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