Madrid, Catalonia and the islands concentrated 60% of the tourist fall in the last quarter

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The big capitals and the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands they will concentrate the tourist fall in the next quarter, the period remaining to close a year of historic declines for the sector. These are not the busiest months, but traditionally there is a lot of business activity and, moreover, the Canary Islands are in their high season. In fact, 33% of the nights in hotels (overnight stays) are concentrated in urban destinations such as Madrid or Barcelona and another 25% in the Canary Islands.

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This is reflected in the forecasts of Exceltur, an association that groups together the main companies in the sector. Business confidence worsens as the months go by. In the Balearic Islands, for example, businessmen expect a drop of 94%, which means that the activity will be zero for the remainder of the year. Madrid also predicts a drop of 86%. Afterwards, the Valencian Community and Catalonia are the regions that expect a greater drop in activity (83% and 81%, respectively).

“We are in the worst period since the Second World War”, with 2020 “on fire and a very complex horizon in 2021”, as illustrated by Josà © Luis Zoreda, Vice President of Exceltur.

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“The fourth quarter anticipates a limit situation”, Zoreda has pointed out. The outbreaks, restrictions and the possibility of passing a curfew “promote progressive declines of tourist companies.” Entrepreneurs in the sector expect a 77% drop in the remainder of the year. It represents a drop of 16 points compared to what they expected in August. “Confidence is decreasing,” said Zoreda.


Hotels in urban areas, for example, anticipate a collapse of 82%, which means having almost zero activity. The main cities such as Madrid or Barcelona concentrate 33% of hotel overnight stays in this autumn period, and the Canary Islands, another 25%.

The tourist hole will exceed 100,000 million euros in 2020, 7,500 million more than expected in August, and assumes that tourist activity will have fallen this year to levels of 25 years ago. The pandemic has brought Spain back to a 1995 scenario.

These losses account for 67% of the total drop in GDP that the Bank of Spain estimates for our country in 2020. By the end of the year, 750,000 jobs will be at stake. Of this figure, around 60% could be closer to losing their job than to keeping it temporarily, closer to the ERE (Employment Regulation File) than to the ERTE.

Forecasts for the remainder of the year worsen after a very lazy summer. Just between the months of July and September, almost 40,000 million euros were lost, representing a drop in billing of almost 70%. “This is a historical collapse, unprecedented in history,” pointed out Josà © Luis Zoreda. Since the month of March, when the pandemic broke out, a hole of 84,000 million euros has accumulated.

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