Spain Preparing to Reactivate Tourism at End of 2020

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The Spanish government is working on a two-phase plan of reopening its country to activity and employment once the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic passes, according to CNBCSpanish Labor Minister Yolanda Díaz said that the first phase for "productive sectors," which would  commence in summer; the second phase, would be put into place from the end of the year. But any final decisions regarding the plan, however, would depend on health authorities.

In a separate press conference, as reported by Forbes, Spain's Minister of Finance María Jesús Montero said that Spain would not resume touristic activity until the safety of Spaniards and visitors alike could be assured. According to Marca, Labor Minister Diaz said sectors, such as tourism, culture, catering and air and sea transport, "are going to have enormous difficulties" in reopening. The return to “normalcy” in Spain is not expected until Christmas; however, the return to normalcy in bars, restaurants, hotels, concerts, theaters or cinemas is expected to be slower, the report added.

Forbes adds that Spain’s tourism sector contributed in excess of $200 billion to the GDP annually since 2018; this equates to about 15 percent of the GDP. Last year, the country received over 83 million tourists who stayed at least one night; it received an additional 41 million day-trippers.

In addition, CNBC reports that Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez would ask parliament for a 15-day extension of the country's lockdown (lasting until May 9). Citizens are to remain restricted to their homes except for essential outings such as food shopping—children are not even allowed out for exercise, it adds. With that said, the country did open up some sectors of the economy this week, including manufacturing.

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