SPAIN’s Tourism Minister is hoping for a return of tourism but has set her sights low at 50% of normal levels.
Maria Reyes Maroto said: “Maybe the ideal goal is … to get half of the tourists we had in 2019. This, for the industry, would be an achievement.”
Last year the country welcomed an impressive sounding 19 million foriegn tourist but this was 80% down on the more than 80 million who visitors who landed on Spanish shores in 2019.
It was the lowest number since 1969.
The effect on the Spanish economy was stark. In 2019 tourism accounted for 12% of gross domestic product (GDP). Last year this figure had plunged to between 4-5% due to the coronavirus travel restrictions.
The Spanish government has been pushing for international vaccine passports in a bid to restart the tourism economy. At the moment it is relying on an EU scheme to be introduced, but is investigating alternative plans which would allow Britons who have been given the COVID jab to visit.