Spanish government announces 4.26 billion euro aid package for tourismChristian Fernsby ▼ | June 19, 2020
The Spanish government announced that it will inject over 4.26 billion euros (4.78 billion U.S. dollars) to help the country's tourism industry recover from the coronavirus crisis.
Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez
"We have overcome the hardest phase of the pandemic in Europe, although there is concern about what is happening outside our borders," said Sanchez.
"Tourism is an essential plan for our country...we have every reason to bet on this sector," the PM said in his statement.
The financial aid will be used in five domains including consolidating the country as a safe destination, financial support for companies, improvement of the industry's competitiveness with sustainability and digitalization, creation of a new observatory for tourism intelligence and marketing tools for promotions of international and national tourism.
Spain's state-owned loan service Official Credit Institute (ICO) will have a preferential tranche of 2.5 billion euros for tourism companies, the PM said.
This plan brings the government's commitment to the sector to over 19.5 billion euros since the beginning of the pandemic in Spain.
Tourism has become the sector that contributes most to the Spanish economy, with around 176 billion euros per year, representing 14.6 percent of GDP in addition to 2.8 million jobs, according to a report prepared by the business association World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). Now, tourism is battered by the coronavirus pandemic and 14-day quarantine imposed on arrivals.
Spain will reopen its frontiers with other European Union (EU) countries except Portugal on June 21, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced in a televised press conference Sunday. ■