Rome – The crisis does not stop for publishing houses in the field of tourism and the arts in Italy: after a decrease in sales volumes by 85% in 2020, in the first eight months of 2021, the percentage of loss compared to 2019 reached 80%, according to reports by publishing houses. in the sector. And so the Italian Publishers Association Aie is back to ask the government and Parliament to intervene to ensure the refreshments needed to continue activities after the crisis, and to reorganize its business and the presentation of its publication. “After 22 months of severely declining sales and the end of Covid layoffs in June 2021 – explains Aie president Ricardo Franco Levi – many publishing houses have had to turn to bank credit to continue their activities. Immediate help is needed to ensure the survival of those publishing tourism and art brochures “.
The crisis in this publishing sector is the result of the broader crisis in the tourism sector, for which the government recently allocated 150 million euros for 2022. Compared to 220 million foreign visitors in 2019, at the end of October 2021 Italy registered just over 15 million (in Rome room occupancy rate registered a 63.6% decrease compared to January/September 2019) and in the coming months, with continued travel restrictions and new variants of the virus, no improvements are expected. The international travel crisis has reduced the demand for guide books, reducing the returns for catalog titles. At the same time, investing in new releases is problematic precisely because there is no vision of what will happen in the coming months. Art book publishers in particular are suffering from a sales crunch at museum libraries, whose public inflows have fallen dramatically. Moreover, the difficulties associated with exhibition planning force publishers to print catalogs without any visibility of the expected audience, and this, at a point where paper and printing costs have increased so much (more than 20%), means the risk of having to budget for a large number of returns or, On the contrary, not enough books were printed to meet the demand. Many publishing houses – in the art and tourism sectors – are moving to retarget their offerings, but new investment is needed to do so, which is difficult to achieve with sharply declining sales.
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