The tourist lobby reveals a 61.3% drop in business in the three Valencian provinces as a result of the pandemic and calls for a shock plan to prevent “viable” companies from closing
That the effects of the pandemic had hit tourism more intensely was a well-known reality in the sector, paralyzed for most of the year by mobility restrictions imposed on practically the entire world. But Exceltur, the association that integrates the 34 most relevant companies in the sector, has finally put the numbers of the bump on the table: in 2020 the Valencian Community has generated 11,000 million less tourist activity compared to the previous year when the figure reached 17.8 billion.
This is how it appears in the Impactur report of the Valencian Community that the vice president of Exceltur, JosÃ © Luis Zoreda, has shown this morning to the president of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig. According to the first estimates made by the tourism lobby, the impact of the pandemic reveals a historical drop in activity at the end of 2020 “which is quantified at 10,968 million, -61.3% below the historical maximums of tourism GDP registered in 2019 “.
Zoreda, however, has highlighted the resilience of the Valencian Community against the behavior of the sector in the whole of Spain, where the fall is estimated to be practically 70% (between 106,000 and 110,000 million less) “as a result of the greater presence of national demand and local residents in the Community demand structure “.
Faced with the “dramatic situation” in the sector, the Vice President of Exceltur has called on the administrations to implement a shock plan that allows viable tourist companies to survive until the first green shoots begin to appear. “Vaccines have opened up a horizon of hope, but we are far from being able to say that we are on the way to recovery. The first green shoots are not in sight before summer and we have a long journey in the desert,” he said.
For this reason, he has reiterated the need to articulate a shock plan immediately after the “disappointing” plan announced by the government, a document that he has described as “unrealistic.” “We need viable companies not to disappear in the coming months due to lack of aid. We do not ask for more or less than what other countries give to the sector,” claimed Zoreda, who recalled the understanding that they have detected in Puig.
His proposal, in fact, has been well received by the President of the Generalitat, who has influenced the drafting of a plan “with resources” to rescue the sector. “We are going to talk and seek answers,” said the head of the Consell.
Puig, in addition, has influenced the possibility of creating a space for European mobility by means of antigen tests or vaccinations to regain mobility between regions that has interrupted the pandemic.
Historical data in 2019
The bad data for 2020, moreover, contrast radically with those of 2019, a year in which all the tourist activity records in the Valencian Community were broken, as the Exceltur report exposes.
In 2019, tourism represented 15.5% of all economic activity in the Valencian Community with a business volume of 17.8 billion. “2019 is the end of a period of continuous growth in the Community with average figures of 7% since 2014,” revealed Zoreda, who highlighted the economic diversification that exists in the three Valencian provinces.
The document emphasizes that the employment generated by tourism in 2019 represents 16% of the total employment in the region and that 15.3% of the collection depends on activities related to the sector. Zoreda has pointed out that the Community is the third region where tourism acquires the most relevant weight for its economy, behind only the Balearic and Canary Islands.