Spanish authorities expect tourism to increase in the spring after suffering a decline due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant.
Also, according to a senior government official, they expect the number of international visitors this year to be more than two-thirds of the record highs of 2019, according to a report by Reuters, reports SchengenVisaInfo.com.
“Expectations for 2022 are good. What we have is a great desire to travel,” Tourism Secretary Fernando Valdes pointed this out at the FITUR Tourism Congress in Madrid.
The coronavirus situation has caused significant difficulties for the travel and tourism sector over the past year, when a large number of people have lost their jobs.
Based on data provided by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), almost 202,000 people engaged in the Spanish travel and tourism sector were left jobless in 2021, mainly due to the COVID situation. -19. These figures marked a 19.5 per cent decline in employment in this sector.
In addition, the report also revealed that while travel demand started to pick up during the summer peak season of 2021, with the removal or easing of travel restrictions, job demand also started to pick up, and is expected to reach over one million in the second half of last year. One in 11 jobs in the travel and tourism sector have been left jobless.
The report also revealed that nearly 16,000 workers are expected to be left jobless in 2022.
According to data provided by the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 8,834,360 cases of COVID-19 infection have been registered in Spain since the start of the pandemic, while 91,599 people have died.
Furthermore, due to the rapid spread of the Omicron variant, Spanish authorities have tightened their entry rules in order to stop a new wave of infection cases.
Yet even amid the pandemic, Spain continues to welcome large numbers of international visitors. In November, a total of 30.2 million visitors entered Spain, marking a 52.7% increase on figures for the same period in 2020, based on data provided by Truespana.
Spain was the second most visited country in the world in 2019, the year in which 80 million international visitors entered the country.
Tourism has only reached a third of that number over the past year as travel bans and other restrictions imposed to halt the spread of the virus have prevented a notable recovery in this sector.
The spread of the Omicron variant and the restrictions imposed by the Spanish government to stop the spread of the virus continue to prevent the increase in tourist numbers.
Recently, Spanish authorities revealed that they have extended entry restrictions for all countries in the European Union and Schengen zone, except Switzerland, after they continue to be on the risk list. COVID-19.