The coronavirus crisis is wreaking havoc across society and not just at the health level. At the economic level, it paralyzes sectors such as tourism, in which the tour guides, who have completely stopped, are preparing to face the future changes that the revival of the country entails.
Everything indicates that the lack of confidence will not be the same or at the same time for everyone, and the group of tourist guides is aware that the return to that normality will come to them from the last, as the president of the Confederation of Official Tourism Guides of Spain (Cefapit), Almudena Cencerrado.
“Since I don’t have a magic ball, I don’t see anything about the future and I can’t even imagine,” said Cencerrado, who, however, did express the “great concern” of these professionals towards their work, since they were the first to start. to notice the effect of the crisis due to the drop in the number of tourists.
The more than 15,000 tourist guides, most of them self-employed, represented by Cefapit and the rest of the non-associated guides, are experiencing a “one hundred percent halt” in their activity and are all confined to their homes, with an uncertain future because of the situation ” it changes day by day “, Cencerrado has added.
An uncertainty that is aggravated in the sense that the tourism sector will be “the last to come back”, according to the national president of the guides, because the health and vital needs will be the first to find an answer and “although tourism is a very nice sector, first things first “, he stressed.
In any case, once the crisis is over, Cencerrado has considered that what is expected is that the first tourism that will once again fill the streets of the country’s tourist centers will be of national origin.
In addition, health insecurity will be noted and that the opening of international borders will be more leisurely, as well as that those who can travel will prioritize their needs and “tourism will be one of the last”.
The representative of the group of tourist guides has pointed out that “the concern of the sector in general and of guides in particular is quite realistic, although we do not want to be 100% negative either and we owe it to the hope that this will reappear at a certain time “
For this, he explained, the sector prepares although it maintains itself at the expense of what the central Executive marks in this regard, and is aware that “tourism is going to change a lot” because although lately there have been complaints about the so-called ‘tourismophobia’ and the massification, “that will change”. “The first expectation is to safeguard life,” he stressed.
Therefore, he predicted that the activity model will change and in this regard he has estimated that it will almost certainly not be possible to travel in crowded groups or full buses and that museums will establish their own guidelines regarding the capacity of the public, so that the sector will comply with the guidelines established by the Government.
In his opinion, sun and beach tourism will be more affected because there are areas such as Benidorm, in Alicante, which are expected to close practically the entire summer season, while cultural tourism is more leisurely, for families, individuals and individuals and around may have a way out.
The president of Cefapit has indicated that she is in continuous communication with the Secretary of State for Tourism, to whom she has thanked for this direct and almost daily relationship as well as the agreement to unify criteria, together with Social Security, when it comes to recognizing the majority of guides as freelancers with the right to access the aid implemented that was not recognized in the first decree.
Despite everything, Cencerrado has underlined the contribution of the tourist economy to the country and has trusted that although the recovery will be slow, the group of tourist guides will continue to fight hand in hand, among others, with representatives of the National Confederation of Carriers tourism and congress tourism with the aim of overcoming a sector “highly affected” by the coronavirus crisis.