Why it’s time to start talking to your clients about South Tyrol
Nestled in northern Italy and straddling the Austrian and Switzerland borders, South Tyrol boasts spectacular alpine scenery and fresh mountainous air, perfect for walking, cycling and hiking opportunities.
Northern Italy was hit particularly hard when Covid-19 first started occurring in Europe. After an intense lockdown, the country has started to rebuild and is starting to welcome tourists once again.
We caught up with Claudia Rier, from the South Tyrol Tourism board to discover just how the region is operating to ensure both safety and satisfaction for travellers.
There has been a big increase in domestic travel, with Italians choosing to head to the beautiful alpine scenery of South Tyrol. This isn’t a surprise, with the currently Covid-19 climate, trekking outside in a fairly remote region, is much more appealing than sitting on often busy beaches. The current tourist situation is roughly 90% Italians with 10% from the surrounding countries.
Italy is currently (at the time of writing) part of the quarantine exemption list with the UK. Travellers can visit without having to quarantine on arrival or on their return, provided they abide with the current regulations, including filling out a form before departure and having temperature checks at UK airports. As we all know in the travel industry, FCO advice can change at any moment, so this should always be checked regularly.
What precautions are being taken in South Tyrol?
Rules are a bit stricter in South Tyrol compared to a lot of the country and there are a number of enhanced hygiene and safety measures that have been implemented to protect both travellers and locals of the region.
In order to prevent the spread of the virus, face masks have to be worn outside from 6pm-6am and on public transport and inside public places (including shops) at all times. They are also a mandatory feature for hotel, restaurant and bar staff.
Social distancing measures of two metres are implemented in guest accommodation and hotels including in their restaurants and bars. Tables are arranged in a way that guests have two metres between them and in the buffet areas, face masks and gloves must be worn by both guests and staff.
Some of the five star hotels have actually introduced Covid testing on arrival at the accommodation, which highlights the incredible organisation and the precautions being taken.
Meanwhile some provinces are also really going the extra mile. Val Gardena’s villages are putting their snow cannons to innovative use. The region is using a high-performance fan gun, normally employed for snowmaking, to sanitise the majority of roads with a 100% biodegradable disinfectant.
Why South Tyrol is perfect for the adventure travel market
With its deep-rooted Austrian and Germanic influences, South Tyrol offers a melting pot of cultures that can be found from the scenery to the gastronomy. It’s proximity to the Dolomites means picture-perfect alpine landscapes and the abundance of outside space lends itself to fantastic hiking and cycling opportunities. It doesn't stop there. The Mediterranean aspect of South Tyrol is characterised by sweeping wine valleys and the Kalterer See lake, the warmest bathing lake in the Alps.
It is an obvious choice for travellers who are anxious about city or beach breaks in the current Covid-19 climate and the Adventure Travel Networking team are delighted to support South Tyrol in rebuilding their tourism market.