The Spanish tourism sector is one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis. The numbers that 2020 has left leave no doubt: 60 million fewer travelers have visited the country and the loss on direct and indirect activity generated by this industry exceeds 100,000 million euros. This is the biggest crisis in the history of the sector and now faces a future fraught with uncertainty. It is precisely about this that the forum will deal The future of the tourism sector, organized by EL PAÍS and KPMG, where this Thursday from ten in the morning will discuss how to get out of the crisis.
Among the participants of the meeting will be the Minister of Tourism, Reyes Maroto, Hilario Albarracín, president of KPMG in Spain, and Miguel Jiménez, deputy director of EL PAÍS. After the first speeches, there will be a discussion table in which Ramón Aragonés, CEO of NH Hotel Group, Luis Buzzi, partner in charge of the Tourism and Leisure sector of KPMG in Spain, Raúl González, CEO of EMEA of Barceló Hotel Group, Luis Maroto, CEO of Amadeus, Patricia Rosselló, CEO of Roibos, and Javier Sánchez-Prieto, President of Iberia. The forum can be followed through the EL PAÍS website at streaming.
Among the good news for the sector for 2021 is the arrival of vaccines, which is a fundamental step to return to normal in terms of passenger mobility. This will be precisely one of the main points that will be discussed in the event, as well as the possible creation of health protocols that restore the confidence of travelers, the impulse to the comprehensive recovery of pioneer destinations while generating new strategies for consolidating new urban and interior destinations, the commitment to the sustainability of the entire business model of the sector and the acceleration of the digital transformation.
The tourist industry is one of the mainstays of the Spanish economy and it will continue to be if the crisis is successfully overcome. In fact, the sector represented more than 12% of Spanish GDP and generated more than 13% of employment, figures that have evaporated in 2020 due to the pandemic. In addition, companies face the enormous challenge of aligning themselves with the principles of socio-economic and environmental sustainability that consolidate the structural improvements that allow them to continue being a strategic sector for the Spanish economy and society as a whole. For this they will have the economic injection of European funds, which will bet on a more sustainable model and will inject large amounts of money into the private sector.
Among the questions that the participants will address will be to discuss the different recovery scenarios that the sector contemplates for this year, how to reactivate the tourist demand in Spain, what strategy to follow after vaccination, the suitability of creating new health protocols, perspectives for the spring and summer, where to direct the spending of EU funds and the major pending transformations of the sector, among others.