Tourism and the economy, by editorial
The development of foreign tourism during this summer is very worrying. The Exceltur Association of Companies in the Tourism Sector confirmed, yesterday, the sudden slowdown suffered by foreign reserves in the past two weeks as a result of the re-emergence of the delta variant of Covid in Spain, in what is already being described as the fifth wave of infection. The recommendations of the governments of the United Kingdom, France and Germany – among others – regarding the health risks of Spain are beginning to take effect, because these three countries are the main source of tourist emissions to the Iberian Peninsula and the islands. On the other hand, national tourism maintains a high level of demand for reserves.
Despite the fifth wave of coronavirus infections in Spain, the situation in the tourism sector is bad but not as dramatic as it was last year. Therefore, if the coronavirus outbreak does not become more complex in the coming weeks, the sector will begin to recover this summer, but at levels far from those before the pandemic. Tourism GDP reached 154,500 million in 2019, and this year it will barely reach 82,000 million.
Concern about the impact of the resurgence of the Covid outbreak in the fall of reserves
Therefore, it is urgent, as the sector demands, an immediate reaction, both from the government and the country as a whole, to improve Spain’s image and keep it away from the current state of alarm that has arisen. About half of the Spanish population is vaccinated and will reach 70% in August, and that needs to be evaluated. The urgent improvement of Spain’s image is almost a matter of strategy for economic recovery and job creation, given the sector’s importance to the economy as a whole. At the same time, it is necessary to reaffirm the demand to maintain measures to prevent transmission of infection in the population.
Aside from the Covid outbreak, the sharp increase in inflation is also worrisome, which in June remained at 2.7% in the state as a whole, reducing the purchasing power of wages, despite confidence that the balances in future months.
The delicate situation that the country’s first economic sector is going through, which is tourism, will be a major factor in the faster recovery of the economy. Entities like BBVA Research, however, raised their economic growth forecast to 6.5% from 5.5% previously. The reason, according to his report on the displayed situation yesterday, is that domestic consumption started to increase more strongly than expected and acts as a major driver of activity.
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