Al­ter­na­ti­ve ho­spi­ta­li­ty in Mi­lan be­fo­re Ex­po 2015: whe­re, how and how mu­ch?

seeITALY - - Numeri - By Mag­da An­to­nio­li Co­ri­glia­no, Sa­ra Bric­chi and Marianna di Sal­le Ma­ster’s De­gree in Eco­no­mics of Tou­ri­sm

Du­ring the fir­st mon­ths of 2015 the Boc­co­ni-As­so­lom­bar­da Ob­ser­va­to­ry car­ried out a pre­li­mi­na­ry stu­dy in­to the phenomenon

The emer­gen­ce and dif­fu­sion of the sha­ring eco­no­my, due espe­cial­ly to the new di­gi­tal platforms, is en­cou­ra­ging the de­ve­lo­p­ment of new forms of ho­spi­ta­li­ty. Faced wi­th so­me seg­men­ts of de­mand that seem to ap­pre­cia­te this kind of lod­ging, tra­di­tio­nal ho­tel and no­n­ho­tel ac­com­mo­da­tion op­tions ha­ve the problem of a new form of

com­pe­ti­tion that, in so­me ca­ses, ap­pears to feature ele­men­ts of un­fair com­pe­ti­tion that are al­so fa­vou­red by le­gi­sla­tion that is fre­quen­tly less than clear.

In­spi­red by this ini­tial in­spi­ra­tion, du­ring the fir­st mon­ths of 2015, in the run up to the Uni­ver­sal Ex­po­si­tion in Mi­lan, the Boc­co­ni-As­so­lom­bar­da Ob­ser­va­to­ry car­ried out a pre­li­mi­na­ry stu­dy in­to the phenomenon of al­ter­na­ti­ve ho­spi­ta­li­ty in Mi­lan, su­ch as that pro­vi­ded by esta­blish­men­ts other than ho­tels, in of­fi­cial non-ho­tel ac­com­mo­da­tion (gue­sthou­ses, ho­li­day hou­ses and apar tmen­ts, B&Bs, ex­clu­ding ho­stels, ho­li­day ho­mes and camp­si­tes) and in pri­va­te lod­gings for rent.

The fo­cus of the stu­dy is an at­tempt to esti­ma­te the si­ze and main cha­rac­te­ri­stics of this phenomenon in Mi­lan, a few mon­ths be­fo­re the ope­ning of Ex­po. To ana­ly­se this phenomenon, the in­ve­sti­ga­tion con­si­ders the li­st of ho­tels and of­fi- cial non-ho­tel ac­com­mo­da­tion (gue­sthou­ses, ho­li­day hou­ses and apart­men­ts, bed & break­fasts, lod­gings re­gi­ste­red wi­th the REC [ Tra­de and Com­mer­cial Re­gi­ster] and the­re­fo­re run as a bu­si­ness) pro­vi­ded by the Mi­lan Pro­vin­cial Au­tho­ri­ties and up­da­ted to November 2014 and pri­va­te lod­gings “for rent” ad­ver­ti­sed on the mar­ket th­rou­gh the main sear­ch por­tals for short stays.

In 2014, the­re we­re 853 lod­gings re­gi­ste­red in the Mu­ni­ci­pa­li­ty of Mi­lan: 53% (455) ho­tels and 47% (398) non-ho­tels. If of­fi­cial no­n­ho­tel ac­com­mo­da­tion is con­si­de­red, the­re are mo­re ho­li­day hou­ses and lod­gings re­gi­ste­red wi­th the REC than other ac­com­mo­da­tion ty­pes and they ac­count for 57% of the non-ho­tel ac­com­mo­da­tion to­tal (227 out of 398) wi­th 1,399 rooms out of 4,566 (31% of the to­tal) and 2,719 beds out of a to­tal of 8,486 (32%).

Along­si­de ana­ly­sis of of­fi­cial fi­gu­res

avai­la­ble re­la­ti­ve to tra­di­tio­nal non-ho­tel ac­com­mo­da­tion, an ad hoc stu­dy was al­so ma­de out of lod­gings of­fe­red in Mi­lan on two well-kno­wn on­li­ne platforms, Airbnb (the big­ge­st re­fe­ren­ce por­tal for short-stay ac­com­mo­da­tion) and Boo­king (one of the main in- ter­na­tio­nal on­li­ne tra­vel agen­cies). The re­sul­ts of this ana­ly­sis re­veal a rea­li­ty that does not ful­ly cor­re­spond to the pic­tu­re mo­st peo­ple ha­ve of this si­tua­tion. In the cen­tre of Mi­lan, en­ti­re apart­men­ts are ge­ne­ral­ly ren­ted out (not the­re­fo­re sin­gle rooms in apart­men­ts as a form of ad­di­tio­nal in­co­me). Al­mo­st 40% of the in­di­vi­duals who rent out one of the pro­per­ties ana­ly­sed in Mi­lan rent out at lea­st one mo­re in Mi­lan or elsewhere and the ave­ra­ge pri­ce le­vel of an over­night stay is de­ci­ded­ly hi­gh, rea­ching le­vels that are pe­rhaps unex­pec­ted for the kind of lod­ging in que­stion (an ave­ra­ge of €126). From a lo­ca­tion point of view, the main con­cen­tra­tion of ren­ted lod­gings in the ci­ty cen­tre is to be found in the stree­ts bet­ween Cor­so di Por­ta Ti­ci­ne­se and Cor­so Ge­no­va, areas whe­re the­re are fewer ho­tels.

Con­si­de­ring that to da­te the­re is no obli­ga­tion to re­gi­ster ren­tal con­trac­ts la­sting less than 30 days, it is dif­fi­cult to esti­ma­te the phenomenon, but ad­verts at the start of 2015, on the main in­ter-

na­tio­nal por­tals for the ci­ty of Mi­lan, con­firm the lar­ge ex­tent of this form of ho­spi­ta­li­ty.

From a point of view of de­mand, ac­cor­ding to the ope­ra­tors in­ter­viewed the­se new forms of ho­spi­ta­li­ty meet the needs of so­me tou­ri­sm seg­men­ts bet­ter than tra­di­tio­nal ho­tels. From “low bud­get” tou­rists who fo­cus on re­du­cing costs, to “hi­gh bud­get” ones who, on the con­tra­ry, look for ex­clu­si­ve, se­clu­ded lod­gings in the old ci­ty cen­tre. From fa­mi­lies wi­th chil­dren who ap­pre­cia­te the op­tion of a kit­chen at their di­spo­sal to “long-stay” vi­si­tors for whom the choice of an apart­ment can be a mo­re con­ve­nient so­lu­tion in terms bo­th of co­st and prac­ti­ca­li­ty, th­rou­gh to tho­se who want to stay in Mi­lan in to­tal­ly pri­va­te, se­clu­ded sur­roun­dings.

For mo­re in­fo about the sur­vey: www.uni­boc­co­

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