Spain could lose up to 6 million international tourists to the coronavirus

The coronavirus crisis could cause losses of between 2.7 and 6 million international tourists if the disease is not tackled before Easter or summer, respectively, which would result in the disappearance of «tens of billions of euros «, according to Pablo Díaz, professor of Economics and Business Studies at the Open University of Catalonia (UOC).

In addition, he highlights that «one of the main consequences is that thousands of jobs will disappear» derived from the Employment Regulation Files (ERTE) that are taking place in the sector.

Díaz stresses, however, that if the virus «disappears soon» the recovery «could occur in a period that is not necessarily harmful» and adds that «after campaigns to market the image absolutely clean of viruses, we are talking about a recovery in the next season, past summer. »

In the context of a possible recovery, the most «cautious» tourists will be those from countries where the virus has not affected to such a high degree and who will perceive the danger of visiting Spain as high, unlike those from countries that are have also been affected by the pandemic. As for national tourism, analysts’ forecast is that it will recover well before that coming from other countries.

However, «even in the best of scenarios», the situation will be complicated for SMEs dedicated to tourism, «even more so if the deadlines are extended.» For this reason, «we will have to think about general aid to relaunch the activity when everything happens,» says Díaz.

In addition, the expert highlights that the end of this emergency situation could be «an opportunity to rethink unsustainable business models that caused turismophobia and touristification.»