SPAIN’S tourism sector lost €106 billion last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The calculation has been made by Exceltur, a national body made up of 34 tourist companies.

Their annual report says that the worst-hit holiday area was Barcelona, which saw tourist-related business slashed by 90.9% last year.  

It was followed by the Costa Dorada on 83% and the Costa del Sol with a 79.7% fall.

The Costa Blanca came fourth in the country’s largest falls in tourist sales with a 76.6%.drop.

The Exceltur report says direct and indirect tourist revenue collapsed by €106 billion in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

The sector has seen 293,000 people lose their jobs permanently with 435,000 others on the ERTE furlough scheme.

While unemployment figures have risen in Spain by 2.5%, the figure leaps to 38% in the tourist sector

Exceltur executive vice-president, Jose Luis Zoreda, said: “We must get a solid plan from the government to rescue tourism, similar to that of other EU countries.”

Luis Zoreda has demanded a non-refundable aid package of €5.3 billion over the next six months.

Exceltur projects that tourism may generate over €96 billion by the end of this year, some €48 billion more than 2020, but still way below the 2019 total of €154 billion.

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