40,000 bars and restaurants permanently closed in Spain due to the pandemic
Some 40,000 bars and restaurants have permanently closed in Spain due to the Covid-19 pandemic, sunk by the lack of tourists and general clientele, the hospitality association said on Tuesday.
The figure represents 13% of the total of cafes, bars, restaurants and hotels, according to Hospitality of Spain.
By the end of the year, it is estimated that some 65,000 establishments may have closed, more than 20% of the total.
The worst omens are going to be confirmed, said the president of the hotel management, José Luis Izuel, at a press conference.
In the middle of summer, and with the borders with the EU reopened for a month, Spain has the problem that in areas of pure and simple tourism, there are no tourists, Izuel summarized.
Among those areas is the Balearic archipelago, where less than half of the bars and restaurants had reopened on July 13.
Business is also failing in the office districts of large cities, deserted by teleworking, a phenomenon that is weighing heavily on restoration.
Teleworking is affecting breakfast, the omelette skewer, the churro, the menu of the day, especially in Madrid, Izuel explained, referring to the habits of millions of Spaniards, now broken by the pandemic.
The billing of the sector could fall 50% in the whole of 2020, according to the hotel management, which fears the loss of between 900,000 and 1.1 million direct and indirect jobs.
For this reason, the hotel industry in Spain asks that many resources of the European reactivation plan approved this Tuesday go to the sector, which represents 6% of Spanish GDP and 9% of employment.
Hospitality is one of the pillars of tourism, which together accounts for 12% of Spain's GDP, the second most visited destination in the world in 2019, only behind France.
At the end of June, the government presented a tourism aid plan of about 4.2 billion euros (about $ 4.8 billion), consisting essentially of state guarantees on loans.
The sector calls for stronger measures, such as direct liquidity transfers, tax cuts or even 'holiday bonds' that the Spanish can use, a scheme that is already being applied in Italy.
With more than 28,400 deaths according to the official count, Spain is one of the countries in the world most affected by the new coronavirus pandemic.