Spain News

The wreckage of an August without tourism

Tourism industry ready to throw in the towel… Here are the most affected areas in Spain.

Miguel Sánchez, president of the Tourism Council of the Confederation of Entrepreneurs of Andalusia (CEA) indicates that at the end of last week, between 60 to 62 per cent of the hotels on the coast and beach in Andalusia had opened and that by the beginning of August it was expected to be between 80 and 85 per cent.

But after the mandatory quarantine that was announced this weekend for UK travellers coming from Spain, the employer’s president thinks that these plans are already going to ruin the opening of hotels on the Andalusian coast. In fact, he points out that some of the shops and hotels that have a very high dependence on the British market were considering closing. In this community alone, an August without tourists will mean €1,500 million less.

The COVID has already left a ruinous July for Spanish tourism, but the consequences will be worse with the restrictions and vetoes that the countries are announcing in recent days. From the UK, for example, two million tourists came in August 2019, according to the INE, almost as many as the French, who have also “strongly” asked their citizens not to travel to the country.

Both are the countries with the highest tourist weight in Spain, followed by Germany, which announced on Tuesday that it did not recommend travelling to Navarra, Aragon or Catalonia. 160,000 Germans travelled to this last community in 2019. If the veto were extended to the Balearic Islands, it would mean a loss of almost 590,000 tourists compared to last August, although even without the veto these figures are unthinkable this year.

Norway is another country that also imposed restrictions on travel with Spain this weekend. Those arriving from Spain will have to comply with a mandatory 10-day quarantine. Belgium has also banned non-essential travel to Lleida and Huesca and those returning from there will have to undergo a 14-day quarantine and undergo a coronavirus test.

America and Africa have also almost entirely limited entry to those coming from Spain, but their weight is less in tourism. In total, taking the 2019 data, in August 6.4 million fewer people will come from all countries currently with restrictions. The figure is likely to increase these days if more governments join the list that currently exceeds 150 countries.

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