THE number of tourists visiting Spain last year was the lowest in FIVE DECADES, new figures have revealed.
Spain’s tourism sector plummeted by nearly 80% compared to 2020 after a disastrous year of travel restrictions and cancelled flights in the wake of COVID.
The country, which usually sees 75 million visitors a year, suffered from a drop in tourism triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
Visitor numbers tumbled to just 19million in 2020 – the lowest figures since 1969, according to the national statistics office INE.
Despite the promise of COVID-19 vaccinations, December was one of Spain’s worst months for tourism on record.
International travel to the county dropped 85% lower that it was in December 2019 after authorities imposed new travel restrictions to curb the spread of the new variant in COVID-19 infections.
Spending was also down, with tourists visiting in December bringing in just €19.7 billion euros to Spain’s economy – 78.5% less than the year priovious.
Spain’s economy continues to be one of the hardest hit as travel restrictions decimate the once lucrative travel industry.
France overtook Britain as Spain’s most important source of tourists last year, accounting for 3.9 million arrivals, a 65 percent decline over 2019.
Around 14 percent of Spanish hotel jobs, or 190,000 posts, were cut in 2020, according to Spanish union CCOO.