SPAIN’S frightening holiday losses have been revealed, as the country has been counting the cost of zero tourists due to the coronavirus pandemic.
State of Alarm measures introduced in mid-March effectively stopped international air travel, barring rescue flights, whilst borders were closed to all but essential travellers.
With Spain being the second most visited country in the world last year, after France, and with around 12 per cent of the national economy relying on holidaymakers, the latest figures from the government on tourist numbers make for grim, if not not totally unsurprising reading.
The National Statistics Office (INE) declared today (June 1) that for the first time ever no international tourists entered Spain in April.
With the lockdown hitting in the middle of March, INE figures also showed that tourist spending was at €11.7 billion between January and April – nearly 50 per cent down on the money that poured in over the same period in 2019.
That drop matches up with the visitor drop over the months of January to April, with just a total of 10.58 million tourists, also down by 50 per cent compared to 12 months earlier.
It’s easy to see why tourism is so important to Spain, and why they are wanting the return of international visitors from July, or perhaps earlier from some areas like Germany.
Though the 12 per cent figure of the tourism market being part of Spain’s GDP, the figure is vastly higher in holiday areas like the Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca, and even more so in the Balearic and Canary Islands.