The restrictions on tourism in Spain by the main emitting countries of our country leave the sector in a tricky situation. Despite the fact that at the end of June the borders with the rest of the EU countries were opened, the outbreaks that emerged caused the United Kingdom to impose a quarantine on all travelers arriving in the British country from Spain at the end of July. A decision to which days later were added the recommendations of other countries, such as Germany, not to travel to our country. For this reason, Exceltur has revised its forecasts for summer and those for the whole year of tourism, estimating that the main sector of the economy will lose 98,743 million euros, 15,000 million more than his last estimate. This is 64.7% less activity than in 2019.
The tourist lobby is based on a “very slow and gradual opening of the tourist season in July”, first, and on the resurgence and restrictions of third countries, “imposed without homogeneous criteria at the EU level”. Thus, he explains that “the sales data, and cancellations available in the first half of August, reveal a flattening of the already slow reactivation expected in mid-June, and point to the early closure of the summer season.”
Broken down by quarter, Exceltur calculates that during the summer, the sector’s peak season, tourism will lose 36,638 million euros in tourism activity, while in the fourth quarter the losses will be less, 18,655 million. These would be added to the 43,460 million losses recorded in the first semester. These data imply falls of -63.3% in tourist activity in the third quarter and -58.1% in the last quarter of 2020 vs 2019, according to Exceltur.
This drop in the sector will have an impact on the country’s GDP, which already suffered a 18.5% drop in the second quarter and is expected to fall by around 15% for the year as a whole. Specifically, the incidence of tourism in this decline in the Spanish economy as a whole would be 57%. In addition, another consequence of the paralysis of the tourism industry will be reflected in employment. As ABC already reported, at the end of July there were more than 800,000 fewer employees working in the sector, right in the middle of high season. Exceltur warns that “an impact of unprecedented dimensions on employment will be seen at the end of the summer.”
By regions, the most affected in 2020 will be those that are most dependent on tourism, especially vacation. That is, Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Andalusia and the Valencian Community. By absolute values, the Catalan community will be the one that receives the greatest impact, losing almost 20 billion of euros compared to 2019. It is followed by Andalusia with 15,118 million losses and the Balearic Islands with 12,717 million. Precisely the latter will be the one that will lose the most in percentage terms, with an 80.5% drop compared to last year. The greatest dependence on German tourism, where they have recommended not to travel to Spain, except the Canary Islands, is the explanation for this collapse. The rest of the most touristy regions move in percentages higher than 60% of losses.
As for Madrid, despite being an urban destination, Exceltur predicts that it will lose 12,685 million euros, 66.2%. For the tourist lobby, this decline in the capital is due to the weight of “business trips, incentives and congresses and its greater international influx.”
To alleviate the losses in the sector, Exceltur reiterates to the Government follow their «Renacer Tourism Plan». It contains transversal support measures for the rescue of viable tourism businesses from September. Thus, they start by extending the ERTE until Easter 2021, without reducing bonuses and with an adequate endowment of own funds from the General Budgets of the State and Brussels. They also advocate intensifying a territorial management strategy for the monitoring and control of the pandemic that is much more coordinated by putting all the necessary means and a common regulatory framework at the country level and for the EU to unify the criteria for regulating the movement of people and flows tourist.