21 November 2012 The Italian bus and coach association and Smart Move partner, ANAV, held its annual conference on coach tourism during the IBE Exposition in Rimini, where a study conducted by the University of Piemonte Orientale and ANAV on coach tourism was presented to politicians, authorities and users who often ignore and underestimate this sector.
ANAV President, Mr Nicola Biscotti, highlighted the great unexploited potential of coach tourism, pointing out the overwhelming taxes and prohibitions imposed on this sector despite its fundamental contribution to the mobility of thousands of users.
In the Italian market alone, over 3,690 companies operate, principally medium and small sized enterprises, with the number of vehicles amounting to about 26.000, employing over 30,000 people and with an annual revenue of 2 billion EUR.
“It is unacceptable that this sector, which contributes so substantially to the country’s economy, is obliged to suffer from a double fiscal imposition – the city entry taxes and recently introduced visitor's tax”, said Biscotti, who also announced ANAV’s intention to start legal challenges against local administrations that have introduced entry taxes into their municipalities for coaches in recent years.
Yves Mannaerts, Vice-president of the IRU and Director of Belgian bus and coach association FBAA also intervened at the conference to stress that a lack of attention to the coach tourism sector and lack of reliable data is not only an Italian problem, but one experienced by many European IRU Members.
The recent creation of the public-private High Level Group with the task of focusing on the three sectors (urban and suburban services, regular services and tourism coach) is an important step forward since it represents the beginning of recognition for the sector and the necessity to elaborate regulations and directives adequately suited to the specific needs of the industry.