The ghost of a hard Brexit seems to move away and the Spanish tourist sector breathes in general before this fact. The extension of Brexit until October 31 that the EU has granted to the United Kingdom avoids a negative impact of 1,436 million euros in the sector tourism, according to Exceltur. The tourism lobby welcomes the decision of the Community Government, since the growth of the sector would have been reduced by 1.1%, up to 0.5%. In fact, he calculates that the arrival of British tourists, the main market of Spain, would have fallen by 11% compared to last year, while tourism spending by the British would have dropped by 8%. This calculation is based on the fact that, according to many analysts, an exit without an agreement would have depreciated the pound by 15%.
The executive vice president of Exceltur, José Luis Zoreda, has not concealed that it is "good news" because this delay "gives us more time to prepare for the new scenarios." In addition, with the option that in October there may be an abrupt departure from the United Kingdom, Zoreda explained that the consequences would be less because on that date «the summer season has already passed» Thus, he hopes that this decision "encourages" the British to visit Spain.
And it is that during the first quarter the uncertainties around the Brexit have weighed. According to the Exceltur data, sales in the British market during the first three months of the year have decreased by 4.2%, being more intense in holiday hotels and car rental companies. By regions, the Canary Islands has been the most affected by these uncertainties, with a 6.8% drop in sales, followed by the Balearic Islands (-5.6%), Murcia (-4.7%) and Andalusia (-4%). 6%).
Due to this decline from the British market, Exceltur has reduced one tenth its forecast of tourism growth for this 2'19, up to 1.6%, where they do not contemplate a hard Brexit. Some data that affirm the moment of deceleration that lives the sector, that since last year grows below the total of the Spanish economy.
Measures for the Government
For Exceltur this deceleration will continue accentuating year after year if no measures are taken. "The public administration believes that we are a sector that works alone, but that is a mistake". Specifically, calculate a decrease in growth to reach 0.9% in 2023 If everything continues the same. The causes of this "slowdown" experienced by the sector are both the fall in foreign demand due to the recovery of competing countries such as Turkey and Egypt, the decline in overnight stays, which fell by 1.6% in the first quarter, and the fall of the average stay of tourists.
The tourist lobby focuses on sun and beach destinations, whose performance in the first three months of the year has not been positive. In the Canary Islands the overnight stays of foreigners have fallen by 5.9%, about 906,000 less, and the number of travelers decreased by 3.6%. Exceltur highlights that the Canarian community represents half of the foreign overnight stays in our country.
For this reason, the 14 measures that the tourist lobby demands from the new government that results from the elections on April 28, include a commitment to transform sun and beach destinations. In addition, they demand that more training be given to SMEs in the sector, prioritize the digitization of destinations and reject tax burdens, such as the rise in the tourist rate suffered by the Balearic Islands. With these measures, Exceltur expects the sector to grow by around 2.7% and 3% over the next five years, creating more than 87,000 jobs per year.