TOURISM in Spain in 2022 could generate 88% of the income seen in the last pre-pandemic year of 2019 according to the Exceltur tourist industry association.

The prediction comes as the sector gears up for next week’s Fitur international tourism fair in Madrid.

Before the coronavirus pandemic struck, Spain was the second most visited country in the world with its combination of beaches and historic cities like Madrid and Barcelona.

Exceltur’s Business Confidence Study reveals that it expects Spain’s tourism gross domestic product to rise to €135 billion this year. 88% of what was achieved in 2019 and up on the 57% figure of 2021.

Activity would not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2023, Exceltur predicted.

The group said that the tourist recovery would not start to gather steam until the Easter holidays in April due to the spread of the Omicron COVID-variant.

Exceltur’s Jose Luis Zoreda said: “Most businessmen are again postponing full revenue recovery to pre-pandemic levels to 2023, due to the triple impact of the Omicron, the energy and supply crisis at the end 2021.“

Beaches and countryside are expected to experience a strong recovery while urban destinations, more dependent on international demand and business travel, expect a less intense recovery, according to the study.

If the forecasts are correct, tourism will contribute 10.5% of Spain’s overall GDP, up from 5.5% in 2020 and the 7.4% that Exceltur expects this year.


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