The flow of international visitors was nil in May, and consequently also the tourist spending they made, which means that Spain lost at least 8 million tourists in that month and more than 8,100 million euros due to the closure of the borders to stop the coronavirus. The National Institute of Statistics (INE) published this Thursday the data on international visitors (Frontur) and tourist spending (Egatur) for May, which again show the same photo as in April: everything to zero.
If the figures for April are added to those of May, Spain would have lost in these two months more than 15 million tourists who spend an average close to 1,000 euros, with which the fall in income through this route amounts to more than 15,100 million euros, which is the data recorded in those months of last year.
After the decree of the state of alarm, on March 14, on the 21st of that month, the criteria for the application of a temporary restriction on non-essential travel from any country were established. Although some trips are allowed, like those of residents in other countries to return or others for just causeThe low volume of these flows and the impossibility of determining their nature "discourage" their accounting, says the INE.
The same occurs with tourist spending associated with the flow of international visitors to Spain or any of the breakdowns of this indicator, which returns to zero, the same as in April.
The figures accumulated until May remain stagnant in the numbers of the first quarter of the year: between January and March, 10.6 million tourists had entered Spain, compared to 14.2 million in the same period of the previous year. The 10.6 million accumulated this year represent just a third of the 29.3 million tourists who had entered Spain between January and May of the previous year.
Already in March there was a sharp drop in tourist arrivals (from 5.6 million in that month of 2019 to 2 million) as a result of the closure of borders in the middle of the month and in April there were no entries.
The communities that "lost" the most in May were Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Andalusia, the first in the ranking of international reception, which in that month of last year received almost five million tourists.
Accumulated spending crash
What the INE has published is the accumulated expense in the period-May, which remains the same as at the end of March (11,707 million euros) and is 61.7% lower than the 30,684 million that had been registered in that period of 2019.
The communities with the highest volume of tourists are, logically, the ones that stopped entering the most through this route: Catalonia had entered more than 2,000 million euros in May last year, the Balearic Islands, 1,611 million and Andalusia, 1,188 million. Over a billion, the Canary Islands also lost.
Zeros have been a constant in tourist statistics since the beginning of the confinement, due to the closure of borders, the prohibition of national movements and the closure of hotel establishments, but in May there was already a slight movement in hotels, apartments, campgrounds, rural houses and hostels.
In May There were 259,000 overnight stays in hotels, which is an insignificant number when compared to the 31.9 million that month. of the previous year, but the numbers begin to rise because from the 11th of that month, tourist accommodation could open with certain restrictions as the territories went to phase one of the transition plan to the new normality.
In June there will be no more zeros in the tourism figures due to the advances in the phases of the de-escalation and because from the 21 of that month Spain opened the borders with the countries of the Schengen area, except for Portugal, which reopened this Wednesday 1st of July.