About 202,000 people working in the travel and tourism sector in Spain lost their jobs in 2021 due to COVID-19 related issues – making up for a drop of 19.5 per cent in direct employment in the sector.
The data were published by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) as part of their report conducted in collaboration with Oxford Economics.
The report further revealed that while the demand for travel started to recover in the summer season of 2021, with travel restrictions being lifted or somewhat facilitated, the demand for jobs also started to increase, anticipated to reach over one million in the second half of 2021. This means that one in 11 jobs in the sector were left unoccupied, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Although the labour market is expected to remain on similar grounds, on average, about 16,000 workers are expected to be left jobless in 2022.
Despite the second half of 2021 being more productive in terms of tourism and travelling, the country could’ve had a better outcome for the season if the travel restrictions would have been lifted. However, Spain did not facilitate travel restrictions for end of the year holidays as the fear of cases with Omicron was on the rise, as the virus variant was spreading rapidly across the 27-nation-bloc.
While travellers from EU member states were allowed to enter Spain by presenting a vaccination, recovery or the EU Digital COVID-19 Certificate. However, travellers from high-risk countries such as Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe are required to present a pre-departure PCR test and a Travel Health form.
According to the Spanish website for tourism, the country welcomed a total of 30.2 million passengers in November, noting an increase of 52.7 per cent compared to the corresponding time in the previous year.
Commenting on the matter, the Spanish Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, said that the positive outcome of tourism occurred due to the high vaccination rate in this territory as more than 75.4 per cent of Spaniards are fully vaccinated.
According to Minister Maroto, the increase in the number of arrivals from other countries shows that the country is safe and convenient for tourism.
“Spain has proven to be a safe destination, which is why it is necessary to continue to make progress with vaccinations, especially for children, which has just begun, and in prevention to avoid contagion,” the Spanish government reports in a press release.