With summer just around the corner, there are many who can no longer imagine being able to enjoy a regular tourist vacation at this time of year. In fact, half of the Spaniards discard traveling for tourism this summer, while only 37% affirm that they will do so by opting for national destinations and only 9% will go abroad, according to a report by the consulting firm EY-Parthenon, which analyzes the consumer reaction to the health crisis caused by the pandemic and predicts a slow recovery in the sector.
Of all the people who plan to make summer vacation plans in Spain, 19% indicate that they already planned not to leave the country, 10% say that they will change their destination for a less crowded one, and 8% say they planned to go abroad but, under the circumstances, it will not. By autonomous communities, Galicia and Andalusia are the most pessimistic, with 56% and 53% of their citizens, respectively, who will not do tourism this summer, while 6 out of 10 people from Madrid or Castilian-Manchego plan to go on vacation.
Likewise, even after the health crisis, 42% of the total sample, based on more than 2,000 people, affirms that their spending on tourism and travel will be less than until now or even zero, while 20% admit that it will be higher and the rest will remain at the same level as before the crisis. The inhabitants of the Valencian Community are the most reluctant to spend in this area, with 46% of those interviewed who assure that their level of spending will decrease for this purpose once the pandemic is overcome, as is the region of Castilla y León, followed by Andalucía, with 44%.
In addition, the Covid-19 will change not only the decision to plan vacations, but also consumer preferences in some aspects, such as paying more to have flexibility in cancellation conditions and reservation changes: 67% of Those interviewed assure that they would be willing to do so, among which young people and the wealthy classes predominate.
On the other hand, the existence of a coronavirus vaccine will be an important part in the recovery and normalization of the sector. For now, 36% of those interviewed affirm that they will not fly again and 27% that they will not take a train until that condition is met. As for accommodation, between 23% and 28% will not sleep in a hotel or rent an apartment, but six out of ten people only depend on it until the recovery from the health crisis. Likewise, the development of a vaccine is also essential for 41% of the interviewees who put this condition to go to an event, as well as to go to the cinema or to a shopping center (27%) or to go to a restaurant (19 %).
Leisure and restoration
Thus, leisure and restaurants also face quite negative prospects in the medium and long term. Even after the health crisis is over, three out of ten Spaniards say that they will reduce their spending on bars and restaurants and one in two will limit or eliminate their night outings. Among these figures, a steeper drop among women and the most vulnerable groups in the face of the crisis such as the self-employed and the unemployed stands out, according to the report, which also indicates that the inhabitants of the Basque Country, along with those of Castilla y León, They are the ones who plan to spend less in bars, unlike Galicians and Valencians who will opt for the opposite trend once the health crisis is over. Likewise, the people of Madrid, together with the Catalans, are among the most cautious and foresee an expense more or less the same as before the pandemic.
Regarding the protection measures that must be adopted to prevent the spread of the virus, 70% of consumers are not willing to pay for a reservation or to have a table with more free space in a restaurant, since they understand that it is mandatory with the measures approved by the Government.
The responsible partner of EY-Parthenon, David Samu, stresses that, although the aforementioned activities will react in a similar way in the coming months, “it is the restoration that will recover more quickly due to its less dependence on international tourism” and explains that this crisis poses an “unprecedented” challenge and that adaptation to the new normal will be important.
The impact of online activities
Almost half of those who travel for work believe that transfers for work reasons will be greatly reduced as a result of teleworking and the use of virtual media, according to the study, which highlights that this new type of work may be another trigger that will slow down the sector recovery. In fact, 67% of the surveyed employees assume that, after confinement, work from home will increase and therefore, restoration will also be harmed, since seven out of ten people affirm that if they adopt this labor modality they will not eat away from home, as if you could do it regularly if you work face-to-face, although the younger groups in no case rule out the option of going out for breakfast or coffee.
In a less pessimistic way, the report underscores that online food delivery services will recover to spending levels close to those prior to the pandemic. Although three out of ten Spaniards have reduced their purchases through this service during confinement, 73% will maintain it or increase it substantially in the initial opening (months in which there are still significant restrictions). This percentage will increase to about 80% in the recovery phase (in the medium or long term).