Tourism revenues collapse in COVID-hit Spain

The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Barcelona

MADRID (Reuters) – Much-needed revenues from foreign tourists collapsed in Spain this year as the coronavirus pandemic pushed many holiday makers to stay at home, further weighing down the euro zone’s fourth largest economy.

Usually the world’s second-most visited country after France, Spain had over the past years received some 80 million foreign tourists a year, with much of the revenues over the summer.

However, between January and August, just 15.7 million visited, around 73% fewer than in the same period of 2019, the National Statistics Institute (INE) said.

As a result, over the same period, earnings from tourism fell 47 billion euros ($55.07 billion) year on year to 16.75 billion euros.

Spending by Britons, usually the biggest contributors, fell around 10 billion euros to 2.61 billion.

In August alone, usually one of the top months for tourism in Spain, international tourist arrivals fell 76% year-on-year, with spending down 79%.

(Reporting by Asia Jonczyk-Gwizdala, Inti Landauro, Belen Carreno and Nathan Allen; Editing by Ingrid Melander)

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