What to do with Europe’s dying towns?

Deserted buildings throughout Europe and Japan are being converted into authentic resorts to save rural communities

TRD WEEKEND EDITION /
Sep.September 22, 2018 10:38 AM

(Credit: Max Pixel, Pixabay)

Thousands of towns across Europe (and even Japan) are on the verge of becoming ghost towns, but a handful of hoteliers are trying to reverse the trend.

By transforming vacant buildings into resorts based on the local way of life, the beleaguered communities are trying to attract tourism dollars that could at least some people to stay in their towns instead of heading to cities, according to Bloomberg.

The exodus of residents from small towns to big cities in rural Italy in particular has reached “emergency” levels, according to one Italian hotelier and professor, Giancarlo Dall’Ara. In some places, so many people have left that whole towns are up for sale. Meanwhile, other Italian communities are trying to attract new residents by listing vacant homes at extreme discounts — literally €1 in some cases.

Dall’Ara told Bloomberg he credits the viability of the concept to homesharing: “Thanks to Airbnb and thanks to the fact that travelers care more about sustainability now, this idea of ‘living like a local’ feels current.”

In Italy alone the number of such hotels has ballooned in the past decade from 20 to more than 100.

In the U.S. however, similar ghost towns are transacting for millions. [Bloomberg]—Erin Hudson


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Zillow CEO Rich Barton (Credit: iStock)

Zillow and Opendoor aren’t making much on home-flipping

Rendering of the Staybridge Suites at 38-59 11th Street

Long Island City hotel project moves forward with construction loan

This week, the State Department of Taxation and Finance issued a new memo that notably made no mention of condos. (Credit: iStock)

Regulators quietly change stance on condos in LLC law

Realogy CEO Ryan Schneider (Credit: iStock)

Realogy’s plan to stop the iBuyers from gaining a foothold in Chicago

Heritage Equity Partners’ Toby Moskovits, Benefit Street Partners real estate managing director Micah Goodman, and the Williamsburg Hotel at 96 Wythe Avenue (Credit: Google Maps)

Toby Moskovits’ Williamsburg Hotel is headed for receivership following $68M loan default

461 West 34th Street with Marx Development Group's David Marx (Credit: Google Maps)

David Marx lands $202M refi for Hudson Yards hotel

Daily Digest Thursday

Worker killed at Lam Group construction site, Uber signs WTC lease: Daily digest

Developers are offering to pay the increased mansion and transfer taxes to give them an edge in a difficult market. (Credit: iStock)

Amid slow sales, developers give buyers a break on mansion taxes

arrow_forward_ios