Spanish hotels face the summer after losing 36 million nights occupied since March

If there is one sector where the coronavirus is hitting hard, it is tourism. Since the first positive cases were detected in Spain, there was a halt in the movement of national and international tourists. Given this scenario, Spanish hotels face the summer season with loss 35,951,810 nights occupied since last March.

The hotel sector is facing an unprecedented collapse in tourism, after chaining four months of losses. Specifically, in the month of March the hotel sector lost almost five million occupied places, 65% less compared to the same month the previous year, according to data from the National Statistics Institute (INE).

April: a ‘black’ month for tourism

Spain closes a month without tourism. Movement restrictions and border closures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus have brought the numbers for the fourth month of 2020 to a minimum: zero.

A scenario that has forced hoteliers living on the Spanish ‘sun and sand’ to say goodbye to the occupation of more than nine million beds. Figures that are not expected to improve in May and June, months in which the sector occupied almost 22 million nights in 2019.

The government of “improvisation”

In this situation, the president of the Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Accommodations (CEHAT), Jorge Marichal, asks the Government of Pedro Sánchez «certainties with enough notice to be able to react, since opening a hotel takes time, and more if you want to do with clients “and criticizes” improvisation in communication by the Government, which results in loss of our confidence and that of the clients. “

For his part, Marichal warns of the need to “extend until October 31 the temporary employment regulation records (ERTE) by force majeure in the tourism sector to give sufficient flexibility to companies, which must have the ability to employ the staff of their business without this ruining it.

Tourism cannot continue without a plan

«From minute one we have highlighted the sector needs, while the Government replies that a specific plan is being prepared and that they will soon present it, “explains the CEHAT president, who assures that” soon it is too late, because Spanish tourism cannot continue like this. ” The Spanish tourism sector is experiencing its lowest hours, after losing 30,000 million tourist spending and 27 million foreign visitors since the confinement began.

A situation to which he adds that Spain is at the tail of Europe in aid to the tourism sector, despite being the locomotive of the national economy as it contributes 15% to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and that it moves almost 15% of the Spanish active population. At stake: more than two million jobs.

The revival of the sector

After four months of losses, the sector has its sights set on the months of the summer season, which will begin with the reopening of the borders to foreign tourists on July 1. And is that the movement of the locomotive of the Spanish economy is beginning to be noticed.

The Meliá hotel chain It will reactivate its operations from the beginning of July in a phased manner with discounts of 30% to stimulate the demand of tourists. Meanwhile, NH plans to open 60 hotels in Spain this June.