Travelers in terminal 4 of the Barajas airport, in Madrid, on January 13 David G. Folgueiras
The tourism sector remains in an induced coma.
More if possible in the beginning of 2021, in which the increase in infections - in Spain and in Europe - forced countries to limit mobility again.
Some measures that still remain.
Despite this, in January it was avoided to register a new zero for the industry, although it is paradoxical that the arrival of European tourists was allowed while travel between communities was prohibited.
But it happened.
Spain was closed for national travelers and open for Europeans.
A kind of
that, as in Berlanga's film, passed by, because only 434,362 people visited the country (274,242 for leisure), a drop of 89.5% compared to the same period in 2020. The most affected is the Canary Islands, which has already seen disappear winter, its high season.
This contradiction is explained by who and how the restrictions were enacted.
After the pulse from the beginning of the pandemic between autonomous communities and the central government to see who should take the lead, the Executive of Pedro Sánchez delegated this responsibility to the territories.
This has allowed the autonomous communities to close their perimeter territory for a certain period of time and avoid trips between them.
But the communities do not have the power to deny entry to a European visitor.
The arrival of foreign tourists begins the year with a drop of 89.5%
The Government trusts the vaccination card to reactivate tourism
In that case, it would have to be Spain that notified the closure of borders, an extreme that has not occurred except for the restriction of non-essential travel from the United Kingdom - in force since December 21 - and from third countries of outside the EU.
In other words, if a German arrived at the Palma airport, there was no regulation in Spain that could prevent him from entering.
This could only be done by your country of origin, in this example if Germany does not let you leave its territory.
In fact, this is what has saved that the contradiction has not been greater, since the rest of European countries imposed strong restrictions and greatly limited leisure travel.
The final consequence of this mess and of the epidemiological situation has been an erratic start to the year for the tourism sector.
Last year marked the bottom of Spanish tourism, although 2021 has not started on the right foot, according to data published this Tuesday by the INE.
Regarding spending, the collapse registered was even higher: tourists spent almost 452 million euros, 90.5% less.
Thus, it seems that only the vaccine could reverse the situation.
The industry trusts its future precisely in the immunization process and yearns for summer to come with a large part of the inoculated population.
Fewer business trips, but more in proportion
Business trips have been one of the major victims of the coronavirus crisis.
Congresses and job fairs have mostly been suspended.
And those that have been maintained were carried out electronically.
In addition, business meetings have also been reduced or replaced by virtual meetings.
Despite this, the drop in leisure travel has been so enormous that arrivals in Spain for work are at the highest percentage of the total.
In January, according to data published this Tuesday by the INE, 274,242 people went to the country for leisure.
That is, 63% of the total.
Thus, the remaining 37% traveled for professional or other reasons, which partly includes those who travel with their family and combine business with some leisure.
In December this percentage was even higher: then there was a more even distribution (59% -41%).
These last two figures are the highest level for business trips since there are records broken down for this concept in the INE (October 2015).