Authorities in Spain expect tourism to increase during the spring after it suffered a decline due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.
In addition, according to a senior government official, they expect the number of international visitors this year to be more than two-thirds of the record levels of 2019, according to a report published by Reuters, TheSchengen.com reports.
The outlook for 2022 is good. Tourism Minister Fernando Valdez indicated during the FITUR Tourism Conference in Madrid that what we have is a great desire to travel.
The coronavirus situation has caused great difficulties for the travel and tourism sector over the past year as a large number of people lost their jobs.
Based on data provided by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), nearly 202,000 people working in the Spanish travel and tourism sector were unemployed in 2021, mainly due to the COVID-19 situation. These numbers represent a 19.5 percent drop in employment in this sector.
In addition, the report also revealed that while the demand for travel began to increase during the peak summer season of 2021, with the removal or relaxation of travel restrictions, the demand for jobs also began to recover, and is expected to reach more than one million per second. half of last year. One in every 11 jobs in the travel and tourism sector is unemployed.
The report also revealed that approximately 16,000 workers are expected to be left vacant in 2022.
According to data provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 8,834,360 cases of COVID-19 have been recorded in Spain since the beginning of the epidemic, while 91,599 people have died.
Besides, due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, the authorities in Spain have tightened their entry rules in order to stem a further increase in cases.
However, even amid the pandemic, Spain continues to receive a large number of international visitors. In November, a total of 30.2 million visitors entered Spain, which is a 52.7 percent increase over figures for the same period in 2020, based on data provided by Truespana.
Spain ranked second among the most visited countries in the world in 2019, during which time 80 million international visitors entered the country.
Tourism reached only a third of that number over the past year as travel bans and other restrictions imposed to stem the spread of the virus prevented a noticeable recovery in the sector.
The spread of the Omicron variant and the restrictions imposed by the Spanish government to stem the spread of the virus continue to prevent an increase in the number of tourists.
The Spanish authorities recently revealed that they have expanded entry restrictions to all countries of the European Union and the Schengen area, with the exception of Switzerland, after it continued to be part of the COVID-19 risk list.