The resumption of tourism is approaching
And if Massimiliano Musto, GM of the Four Seasons Hotel Firenze, says so, there is every reason to be confident
Many countries are already ahead of the curve with vaccination plans. How is this aspect affecting the world of tourism?
Without a doubt, a good advancement of the vaccination plan and reaching a consistent quota of vaccinated people in the shortest possible time will be a very important pivot for the restart of the sector. As evidence of this, we are seeing that the markets that have the largest number of vaccinated people are among the first to show interest in travel. I'm talking specifically about the US and UK for bookings from August/September 2021 onwards.
Europe is also thinking about the vaccine patent (possibly replaceable with a certification of immunity or negative swab) in order to travel. What do you think about this?
I think it is essential to take any kind of action that allows you to return to travel but in maximum safety, taking all necessary precautions, so welcome procedures of this type to allow tourists to move with the least possible risk. For our part, as hotel facilities, we will continue to work to ensure the adoption of the highest levels of security while guaranteeing a comfortable and relaxing stay. Recently we have also introduced for our customers the possibility to perform molecular tests and rapid tests directly in the structure, thanks to partnerships with specialized companies. Each of us would like to travel again, but it is important to do so respecting the rules.
How did the last few months of 2020 go and how are these early months of 2021 going?
As the only five-star property open in Florence during the holiday season, we had a good number of guests, obviously related to the difficult situation we are all facing. We have seen since the beginning of 2021, also thanks to Tuscany being in the yellow zone for more than a month, many Florentines and Tuscans who have treated themselves to a night with us, taking advantage of special packages dedicated to staycations and enjoying dinner in our starred restaurant. Now we hope to be able to start again soon at a faster pace.
Has the important investment you made in keeping the hotel open from as soon as it was possible in June until today borne fruit?
For us, it was fundamental both to maintain the link with the city through initiatives such as take-away, and to continue to ensure that, on a rotating basis, our staff could continue to work, while at the same time offering our clients who had the opportunity to travel, a structure in which an excellent level of safety standards was guaranteed. We have gone through some more or less easy periods, for example a summer of 2020 that was really very positive compared to the assumptions, but we are confident that we will soon see the country recover.
In these months you have reinvented yourselves in various aspects, for example with different and fortunate delivery formulas, thanks to which you have managed to remain close to the city even in such a complicated period. Are you planning to continue with this kind of proposal?
Take-away has been a wonderful discovery for us, warmly welcomed by all our customers. We will certainly continue on this front, offering increasingly differentiated packages, not only for special occasions such as Easter or Valentine's Day, but also options for aperitifs with take-away cocktails and the usual brunch every day of the week, also taking advantage of important partnerships such as the one with Frette, which has given a linen setup to anyone who buys a brunch package for Easter, or with Krug, which offers its bottles at special prices to take-away clients. In addition, in parallel, we are continuing to develop a line of baked goods and other specialties for sale, such as colomba and Easter Eggs, which have given us excellent feedback from our customers.