UK and France measures
Monday, July 27, 2020 – 02:03
The British measure cuts off the flow of the largest issuer of spending in Spain, one fifth of the total. The French warning about Catalonia hurts the community that gets the most money, 25%.
Mazazo, lace, auction. The spread in Spanish tourism is widespread in view of the sanitary cord that rises across Europe to take distances with the outbreaks. The quarantine applied by the British and the recommendation issued by the French imply the loss of the main issuer of spending in Spain, the United Kingdom, and the deactivation of the community that injects more money thanks to foreign tourism, Catalonia. This sector, it should be remembered, covers around 12% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and is therefore the most important for the Spanish economy. Perfect storm in the middle of summer.
The United Kingdom, the country that generates the most spending on Spanish land (one fifth of the total), has already announced a quarantine that conditions recovery. So, the tour operator TUI (Touristik Union International), a giant of German origin, reacted yesterday with the cancellation of all its flights to mainland Spain at least until August 9, so you are already contacting your clients to make full refunds or to propose new reinforced reservations through incentives.
The 14 days of quarantine imposed from the United Kingdom for anyone arriving from Spain are, in practice, an insurmountable obstacle to the normal development of tourism, as it is a sanitary measure that generally no vacationer is willing to assume. However, the British is not an isolated decision: other countries like Ireland and Norway also require quarantines once he returns from Spain, while France has explicitly discouraged traveling to Catalonia, a blow to Barcelona, Costa Brava or Costa Dorada businesses, but also for all Levante which runs along the southernmost coast.
Since it makes no sense to take more recent calculations, already altered by the coronavirus health crisis, the data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE) for July 2019 serve to capture the relevance of the United Kingdom for Spanish tourism, and because of concern about Brexi and the bankruptcy of the tour operator Thomas Cook.
British, German and French keys
That month a year ago the main emitters of tourist spending in Spain were the United Kingdom (20.6% of the total), Germany (11.7%) and France (8.9%). The British left 2,463 million euros in July and another 2,523 million in August; that is to say, 5 billion in the two entirely summer months depend on that country.
Germany spent 1,407 million euros in July 2019, for 1,063 million in France, amounts that this year faded. The Prime Minister of that country, Jean Castex, has warned of the “worrying health indicators” observed in Catalonia: “We strongly recommend that French citizens avoid moving there.”
Catalonia is the community with the highest international tourist spending, around a quarter of what is achieved in the whole of Spain (in July of last year, 3,000 million and exactly 25% of the total), above the Balearic Islands (24.1%), the Canary Islands (12.4%) , Andalusia (11.8%), Valencian Community (11.4%) and Madrid (8.1%).
For its part, Belgium has advised against visiting areas such as Huesca or Lrida, one of all the international restrictions with Spain, which in 2019 reached a record number of 83.7 million international tourists.
The British measure is supported by “evidence of increases in coronavirus cases in various regions but particularly in Aragn, Navarra and Catalua”. However, the quarantine imposed by the United Kingdom will affect other countries besides Spain, such as France, Germany, Estonia and Slovenia, but not to the United States, where there have been more than 4 million infections of Covid-19.
A lasting impact
According to the Exceltur employers, the Spanish tourism sector lost 43,460 million euros of activity between March and June 2020, in the first quarter dragged by the pandemic, a blow that is intended to cushion this summer. Recovery does not come if it is not brought by tourists. Last year, Exceltur recorded the largest volume of tourist activity in the history of Spain, with 153,000 million euros.
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