The Spanish government is issuing a € 4.2 billion aid package to help the tourism sector of the country. This recovery plan is to support the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, for EU tourists Spain plans to reopen its borders next week. It will also reopen its border for the UK. However, after closing down the borders for three months has caused a huge hit to its tourism industry. The country suffered a loss of about €80 billion because of no tourism amid the pandemic.
The package comes at a crucial time for a sector that accounts for 12% of Spain’s gross domestic product.
The Rescue Plan
However, this rescue plan will help the tourism sector. It will provide incentives to airlines to bring international tourists to the country in great numbers.
While announcing the plan, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said, “ This is an imperative aid plan for tourism. It is of great importance to the image and reputation of our country.”
In addition, he said, “ We are a world leader and each step we take will be safe.”
However, for tourism operators, most of the aid, which is about £2.25 billion, is contributed by the credit guarantees of the government.
The rescue plan will focus on five key areas. It will focus on consolidating Spain as a safe destination, support tourism companies, improves the competitiveness of the tourism industry. Moreover, it will promote international and domestic tourism by using marketing tools. In addition, it will also build tourism intelligence.
Moreover, it will also transfer cash to the state-controlled airport operator Aena. So that the airport reduces the landing fees and other charges.
Prime Minister Sanchez said, “ We hope this is going to help bring about the fastest possible recovery of air traffic to our country.”
Building Back the Tourism Industry
Spain’s tourism industry mostly depends on air arrivals. However, more than 80% of travelers come to the country by plane.
Moreover, the government will be suspending mortgage payments for up to 12 months to support the companies. It will also grant aid for health and safety measures. Furthermore, it will provide training for workers.
The World Tourism Organization has welcomed Spain’s readiness to lead the way in restarting tourism.
Zurab Pololikashvili, the head of the United Nations specialized agency, said, “By restarting tourism, and doing so in a responsible manner that protects the most vulnerable while safeguarding jobs and economic growth, Spain can send a strong signal to the rest of the world.”
In addition, he said, “The country has long been a global tourism leader and I thank President Sánchez for again stepping up and setting an example for other countries to follow.”