MADRID, Apr 27 (Reuters) – The catastrophic effects of the pandemic on the Spanish tourism sector, one of the country’s main economic engines, could cause the loss of more than 250,000 million euros and 4.4 million jobs by 2024.
According to the report on Tourism in Spain prepared by the consulting firm McKinsey, to reactivate in a new context transformed by the crisis, the sector must overcome threats such as the prolongation of restrictions on mobility and the possibility that the transition may be carried out ineffectively .
Foreign tourism in Spain, which due to travel restrictions plummeted 80% in 2020 in the number of tourists, its lowest level in half a century, may not regain pre-pandemic levels until 2025.
For its part, domestic tourism would return to pre-crisis levels from 2024.
McKinsey highlights the dependence of the sector on air transport, since 82% of tourist movements in Spain depend on arrival by plane.
This subordination to air traffic, already compromised, adds to the significant proportion that business travel represents in Spanish tourism.
While international airlines foresee a structural drop in business travel due to the new ways of working imposed by the pandemic, this type of travel still accounts for 17% of spending on domestic travel in Spain, compared to, for example, 7% in the case of Portugal.
The study highlights the need to innovate by promoting the digitization of the sector and collaboration between sectors, combining the competences of private and public entities in the promotion of local tourist destinations.
McKinsey also points out the importance of cooperating between sectors, given that the impact of COVID-19 on Spanish tourism has been transferred to other sectors, such as real estate and finance, which multiplies the negative effects.
The analyst estimates that the 250,000 million euros that Spain could lose between 2020 and 2024 would represent 22% of 2019 GDP.
(Information from Flora Gómez; edited by Tomás Cobos)