Diego Della Valle Invites Italians to Spend Holidays in the Country

Sandra Salibian

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LOCAL ENDORSEMENT: Diego Della Valle took a full-page ad in a range of prominent Italian media outlets on Sunday to invite his compatriots to spend the summer holidays in the country.

The page’s graphic featured the shape of Italy, the national colors and a brief message, all set against the image of a blue sky. “This year, if we can take a little vacation, let’s try to spend the holidays in Italy. Our country is very beautiful and it now needs the support of all of us Italians,” reads the statement signed by Della Valle, the chairman of Tod’s SpA.

His message appeared in major dailies including Corriere della Sera, La Repubblica, La Stampa and Il Sole 24 Ore, in a period that was usually considered high-season in terms of tourist flows in the country. But the global pandemic has significantly impacted tourist attractions and hotel businesses. In particular, Italian key cities, cultural spots and seaside destinations are the most affected by the drop in international visitors.

According to data released this month by ENIT — the national agency of tourism — international arrivals in airports will plunge 86.9 percent from July to September, compared to the same period last year. Overall, international arrivals are expected to drop 55 percent in 2020, resulting in a loss of 35 million visitors for the country. Consequentially, local accommodation facilities will lose 119 million overnight stays this year, up to 165 million ones when domestic tourists are included in the count.

According to ENIT, 47.5 percent of Italians who will take a vacation this year will opt for waiting for the end of summer. Overall, mountain destinations will be on the rise, as they are expected to attract 60 percent of domestic tourists.

During the lockdown, taking full-page ads in media proved to be a key tool for designers and entrepreneurs to voice their support and concerns on different topics.

As reported, in March Giorgio Armani took a full-page ad in more than 60 newspapers in Italy to write a letter expressing solidarity to all the healthcare providers involved in fighting the coronavirus outbreak.

The following month, more than 50 nonfood retail brands, including OVS and Coin, the Calzedonia SpA Group, Kiko, Douglas, Twinset and Rinascente, among others, as well as associations FederDistribuzione and Confimprese, paid for an ad space to address “proposals to tackle the emergency” and “ideas to survive” the economic crisis to the Italian prime minister and local political institutions.

More recently, Benetton’s chief executive officer Massimo Renon and a number of its employees also opted for an ad to show their support of the company’s founding family, which has been under the public opinion’s attack since the collapse of a section of the Morandi bridge in Genoa in 2018.

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