Spain Visitor Numbers Rise But Lower than 2019 Levels

Tourism in Spain

The number of international tourists staying in Spanish hotels in July was more than 1.1 million. This was after the country lifted Europe’s strictest coronavirus lockdown restrictions in late June. But this number is still only about one-sixth of last year’s levels, data showed on Monday.

However, every year there are more than 80 million foreign tourists they visit Spain. Therefore, it is the world’s second most visited country after France. But due to domestic tourism, which is about 3.2 million customers the travel sector had some stability last month, the National Statistics Institute said.

The number of international tourists increased from just 114,667 in June. But it was just a fraction of July 2019’s 6.45 million tourists.

However, Spain depends on tourism for around 12% of gross domestic product. The country reopened its borders to Schengen countries and a select group of third countries last month. It reopened for countries where the number of cases was low.

Hotel Occupancy Down Due to Increase in Cases

However, hotels also made just over half of their total bed capacity available. The average occupancy rate was around 36% even though hotels cut their prices by 8.2% compared with July 2019.

Whereas, overnight stays also decreased in the first seven months of the year by more than 70%. However, it was due to travel bans and quarantine rules for travelers returning from Spain.

There was a new outbreak in Catalonia and the northeast of Spain at the end of July. Because of this many countries, including Britain, are not encouraging their citizens to travel to Spain. Moreover, they are imposing quarantines or testing the passengers upon return.

Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, among the most popular destinations for foreign tourists, have suffered a drop in visitors close to 90%.

Most of the foreign visitors that were staying in the hotel in Spain in July were German. But the German numbers were still down by almost 80% while British ones were down by more than 90%.

Managing the Loss

The Spanish government issued a €4.2 billion aid package to help the tourism sector of the country. This recovery plan is to support the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. 

However, after closing down the borders for three months there has been a huge hit to its tourism industry. The country suffered a loss of about €80 billion because of no tourism amid the pandemic. 

However, this rescue plan will help the tourism sector. It will provide incentives to airlines to bring international tourists to the country in great numbers. 

However, for tourism operators, most of the aid, which is about £2.25 billion, is contributed by the credit guarantees of the government.

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