Jean-Paul II’s funeral drew the masses to Rom just as the tourist season entered in full swing. But the city was already breaking records since the beginning of the year .Whence such success ? Efficient promotions lie behind the Eternal City’s growing appeal
The barometer is set fair for Rome’s hotels. “July was absolutely excellent. For us in the first place because we posted no vacancy throughout the month. But for the entire city as well,” rejoices Dedy Ferrari Clerici, responsible for press relations at the Hôtel de Russie (Rocco Forte). From 90 euros in July 2004, the RevPAR rose to 110 in 2005. These excellent results are also confirmed by the database at MKG Consulting, which reports a RevPAR up by 22.9% on July alone. In all likelihood, 2005 will be a fantastic year for Rome’s hotels, which had only a single drop in its occupancy rate since August 2004 (and still, it was only 0.2 points in May 2005). On the last 12 months of activity the increase in occupancy rate reached 5.8 points and in 2005, growth reached around 10 points or more 3 times (in February, June and July). “The first semester was marked by a high volume of business. We have worked hard with the Congress segment. Which has generated a very good occupancy rate and average daily rates that are up,” congratulates Salvatore Logiudice, sales executive Melia Aurelia Roma Antica. The story is the same for other hotels that registered an OR around 80% since the beginning of the year. Even if July was a bit calmer at some economic properties that accommodate a large share of domestic business clientele.In a memo from last June 18, the mayor congratulated the good results posted by tourism. “Our city”, he adds, “continues — unlike other regions and cities in the country — to win market shares.” The Italian capital is well ahead of the other cities in the country. “Florence is not as satisfied,” confirms Dedy Ferrari Clerici, who is also responsible for the Hotel Savoy in Florence (RF). This city relies on cultural and artistic tourism, while Milan depends on business tourism. Rome, meanwhile, is becoming a business destination and can also play on the “business, pleasure, leisure” triptych. This trend offers optimisim for a fine future for the Eternal City.Why this bath of youth? The major event in this first semester was incontestably the death of Jean-Paul II. Nearly 2 million people rushed to Rome in the days just before or following the Pope’s funeral. Average daily rates reached a peak last April 7 and 8, months when the increase in the RevPAR reached 18.3%. But of course the good health of Rome’s hotels does not lie in religious tourism. Rome’s Messiah would be called Walter Veltroni, the city’s mayor and his team. This administration reaps much praise. “It has made a great deal of effort,” according to Salvatore Logiudice. “Rome is a unique city, but above all it is very well marketed,” remarks Dedy Ferrari Clerici. Major events planned in advance make it possible to market the city well. The city has invested 140,000 euros in a publicity spot projected in Italy and around the world. In addition to the splendours of the city, it demonstrates above all its dynamism, improvements in transportation services and renovations across the board– parks, streets, museums.
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