It is expected that around 20% of the temporarily unemployed workers in the Spanish hospitality and tourism industry will lose their jobs permanently. Because it is becoming clearer that European group immunity will only be a reality by the end of the summer.
Difficult to estimate job losses
Economists have informed eleconomista.es about this. But they report it is difficult to estimate the number of permanently lost jobs, given the current uncertain circumstances. What is certain, however, is that most jobs will disappear this year in the hospitality and tourism industry.
Three-quarters of tourist activity takes place prior to September
Florentino Felgueroso of the Spanish Bureau for Applied Economic Research Fedea calls the situation for the tourism sector in the short to medium-term dramatic. Without giving concrete figures, Felgueroso confirms that many companies are no longer viable. And according to him not only the upcoming Semana Santa but also the summer season should be considered lost. That is practically the entire tourist season as three-quarters of it takes place before the start of September. According to a recent forecast by European Commission, President Ursula von der Leyen, 70% of the adult European population will have been vaccinated against covid-19 at the end of the summer. And only then will we have herd immunity.
Faster recovery in Spanish cities
However, the impact of the pandemic on the tourism sector in Spain will not be felt equally everywhere. According to director Raymond Torres of the Economics section of the Funcas study center, tourism in Spanish cities will recover more quickly than in the coastal areas. As soon as corona measures relax and travel restrictions are lifted, cities will immediately start attracting weekend tourism and business people. Also, the less crowded northern regions and some areas in Andalusia will be attractive once more. This was shown last summer as soon as travel to Spain was allowed again. According to Torres, there is more uncertainty for the locations that are traditionally attractive for mass tourism from abroad.
Permanent changes in travel behavior?
Felgueroso notes that once the pandemic has disappeared, the recovery across Spain will be faster than after the real estate crisis of 2008. However, it remains uncertain what the exact impact of the pandemic will be on the social behavior of tourists. And, in turn on the recovery of the tourism sector in Spain in the longer term. This pandemic may have resulted in lasting changes in travel behavior.
Economists agree that as long as the pandemic still exists, the recovery of the tourism and commercial sector will depend on the support plans of the Spanish government. According to them, the government should offer more support aimed at those able to wait out this uncertain period. And as such, these companies will still viable for recovery afterward.