TRAVEL: Italy reports surge in bookings for ‘smart working’ summer holidays

TRAVEL: Italy reports surge in bookings for 'smart working' summer holidays
Working with a view. Photo: Ostap Senyuk/Unsplash
More people are planning to rent holiday homes in Italy this summer, taking advantage of being able to work remotely and enjoy more time away, according to a new report.

The rise of the so-called ‘holiday working’ trend has seen a spike in bookings of longer durations in holiday home rentals across Italy, according to new figures shared by Idealista.

Instead of a holiday lasting a week or ten days, more people are booking longer stays of around three weeks, revealed Marco Celani, CEO of Italianway Research Centre – which analyses bookings made on their holiday home rental site.

“We are aiming for 25 million bookings in 2021, and periods of stay are being extended to three weeks. The Adriatic, Sicily, Sardinia and small towns are doing well,” he said.

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Contributing to the boom in bookings is the acceleration of the vaccination campaign and the easing of restrictions, according to Celani.

Additionally, the promise of the upcoming ‘green pass‘ to allow travel has translated into a 33% increase of bookings compared to last year, with peak earnings of €80,000 per day, the findings showed.

Some 35% of the 43,000 nights booked from 1st January – 15th of April 2021 are for holiday working purposes, the report added.

The average length of stay is 19 nights with a budget of €3,243, corresponding to an average rate of €170 per night.

The figures have encouraged the tourism site so much that they have added a section titled, ‘Holiday Working – perfect accommodation for smart working’.

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Monopoli in Puglia is one destination high on the ‘Holiday Working’ bookings list. Photo by reisetopia on Unsplash

‘Smart working’ has become the buzz word since Covid-19 hit Italy over a year ago, forcing a change in how businesses operated and dragging the country into a new digital era.

Italy wasn’t previously reputed for its digital flexibility, with many people moving to the country noting the widespread internet connectivity problems.

However, the need to work from home has transformed how people work and live, providing new opportunities for people to freelance in Italy and moving teaching and learning online (DAD – Didattica a Distanza).

READ ALSO: Do you know your DAD from your DOP? The most common Italian acronyms explained

It’s also encouraged some Italian towns and villages to offer financial incentives to those willing to relocate there to work remotely, in the hope of injecting new life and boosting the economy.

And it looks as though it’s also paved the way for more people in Italy to leave the cities and choose a safer, calmer place to carry out their work or continue studying while enjoying a break from the crowds.

In fact, the report revealed that this year, people are looking to book ‘holiday working’ breaks with extended family, beginning as early as May and June.

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Receiving the most amount of bookings are destinations off the beaten track, with a reported increase in stays in isolated places, only reachable by car or ferry.

“Top performers continue to be destinations where it is possible to book houses outside historic centres but with all services within easy reach, such as Termoli in Molise, Muravera in Sardinia and Monopoli, Castellana Grotte and Lecce in Puglia,” said Celani.

Other places receiving a swell in bookings are Sirolo in the Marche, Marone on Lake Iseo, Bormiese and Valdisotto in Lombardy and Andora and Sanremo in Liguria.

Both the sea and the mountains are attractive to people in Italy taking advantage of the ability to work remotely in a destination of their choosing.

And it’s not just the summer season that’s expected to experience this new trend – as the site has also seen a hike in bookings for October, meaning ‘holiday working’ is set to continue until autumn 2021.


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