Last year, Spain registered a record number of visitors for the seventh year in a row welcoming 83.7 million tourists in total, up by 1.1% compared to 2018, according to data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE). However, it seems that the trend will be disrupted this year by the paralysis of activity in the tourist sector as a consequence of the coronavirus. Players in this segment of the economy, which accounts for 12% of total GDP, warn that the measures adopted by the Government are “insufficient” and that this crisis will take its toll.
Effects of the measures on the tourism sector
The tourism sector has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic with restrictions on the movement of people, the gradual closure of borders, ERTEs, the mass cancellation of accommodation, programs such as Imserso, events and flights, and, finally, the mandatory closure of hotels and all other types of tourist accommodation. To alleviate the fallout, on 12 March, the Government announced a series of measures through a decree-law. They included the approval of a line of credit from the Official Credit Institute (ICO) amounting to €400 million for transport and hospitality companies; meanwhile, the Social Security allowances for permanent seasonal contractors were extended.