The main focus of the Italian round table forum is to look at how Italian cities handle their permit systems and the future of coach tourism in the country. The European Tours Operators Association (ETOA) has long argued that coach permit schemes need to be accompanied by appropriate facilities.
In a statement issued in partnership with IRU and ECTAA, the association highlighted the continued importance of coach tourism and the need for more dialogue between authorities and operators.
There has been an inexorable rise in tariffs over recent years, which has left some operators questioning the viability of itineraries that visit a large number of “art cities.” There is also the sense that coach tourism is taxed disproportionately.
At a recent City Tourism seminar in Florence, concern was expressed by local hoteliers that high charges acted as a disincentive for operators to overnight in the city and were driving business elsewhere. The round table comes against the backdrop of city accommodation taxes, already introduced in Rome, and being considered under a new federal law by several destinations. Some mayors have stated they will not introduce such a tax but ETOA’s main concern is that the law allows cities to introduce a levy at relatively short notice, such as was the case in the Italian capital.
The round table was set up under the Presidency of the Council of Ministers in Italy.