Spain’s tourism sector is predicted to suffer a catastrophic €124 billion of losses if lockdown restrictions are not eased until the end of the year, warns the country’s tourism industry body Exceltur.
THE announcement comes after the country’s President Pedro Sánchez and the Minister of Industry, Tourism and Commerce, Reyes Maroto, recently outlined a two-phased return for industry as lockdown restrictions are eased. Its ‘two-part’ phased plan would enable the production industries to be back at work by the summer, while tourism, hospitality and leisure sectors will have to wait until the end of the year, it confirmed. The plan, however, has been heavily criticised by tourism associations.
The tourism industry – the motor of Spain’s industry – has taken the harshest hit, with an 80 per cent fall in activity, according to Exceltur. It has provided two scenarios for the industry. “If we take the most optimistic scenario and plan for a return to normal activity in July, then we are looking at losses of around €92.6 billion,” stated Exceltur. However, if the industry has to wait until the end of the year, losses are predicted to be in excess of €124 billion.
With countries like Germany already easing restrictions as soon as Monday, and others like Greece planning on hotels and bars opening in June, Exceltur has raised concerns about the lack of time frames indicating how soon the restrictions can be lifted to kick start the tourism industry in Spain. It is calling on both Sánchez and Maroto for clearer time frames, so the industry can prepare.
Today, the Transport Minister José Luis Ábalos has pointed out that “tourism is one of the government’s priorities”, but he has acknowledged that there are no concrete dates about when activity in the sector can return because it all depends on how the coronavirus situation evolves.