The Spanish tourism sector has suffered a dramatic drop in activity of around 70% in 2020 due to the coronavirus crisis. The last available data, the overnight stays in hotel establishments, confirm just that. They fell by 73.3% in 2020 to 91.6 million, while room rates fell by an average of 6%. So the industry’s recovery depends, partly, on the receipt of European funds. And 70 tourism companies have proposed a project to the government to attract €5.8 billion in European aid.
These firms, including Barceló, Meliá, NH, Iberostar, Azora, Avoris and Globalia, have joined forces to present the “Tourism of the Future” project. This aims to transform the sector’s value chain on the premises of sustainability, diversification of the tourism product and digitalisation. The project will focus on certain areas like intelligent tourism, circular economy, energy efficiency, sustainable construction and the transformation of destinations.
This is not the only sector initiative to try to recover the strategic role of tourism in the Spanish economy. The Hotusa Group, integrated by Eurostars Hotel Company, the world’s leading hotel consortium, has held its sixteenth edition of the debates “Let’s Save Tourism“. This year’s meeting had as guests the CEO of Amadeus, Luis Maroto and the former president of Accenture Spain, Juan Pedro Moreno.
Moreno said that Spain “is a leader in the global tourism industry and I believe that this fact is not always sufficiently recognised or even known.” For Luis Maroto, “we must differentiate between what is the pandemic and what is the economy.” And he affirmed that “this is an industry that has lived through millions of crises, is used to them and will come out of them stronger.” So he was optimistic, assuring that “when we reach a point where mobility recovers, the solution will be faster than what the institutions are telling us.” When asked about tourism’s recovery, Maroto emphasised that “holiday tourism will recover before urban tourism and domestic tourism before international tourism.”