How COVID has affected European tourism?

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The tourism industry has been hit bad all over the world with the imminent lockdown and COVID situation. The pandemic has adversely affected almost all sectors and stunted the growth of the world’s economy, across the borders. The worst affected is the tourism sector where even the possibility of thriving back once normalcy returns due to the fear and social distancing norms. European tourism that accounts for about 10% of the entire economy of the European Union is facing a challenge of surviving. Many people have lost their jobs, so have small vendors, street-side sellers, cafes, restaurants, tourist guides and other craftsmen that depended on the income to get through their entire year. According to ETC Executive Director Eduardo Santander, about a loss of 10 million jobs are estimated overall in Europe with the continuation of the situation in the coming months.

According to ETC, the tourism industry in the European Union has reduced to practically 10% of what it was in the pre-COVID situation. The countries with the highest share of GDP depending on tourism will have disastrous economic situations. France, Spain, Germany, Italy along with the United Kingdom (not a part of EU) that constitutes the mammoth share of tourism that takes place in entire Europe. Tourism in the European Union will need the assistance of about 375 billion to regain its footing and start anew, after the pandemic. There is a need to strike a precarious balance between safety and reopening of various facilities for tourism. Many businesses are attempting to lure customers after safety measures four-metre plexiglass barriers on beachfront or glass shields between tables for the new normal after the pandemic.

The incurred losses –

The extension is losses sustained are too much and according to the estimations done by the European Commission the hotel and restaurants are suspected to lose half of their income this year. The banking group UBS suggests that tourism revenues will fall down by 95% in Italy and 77% in Spain, given they account the most numbers of tourists each year. Tourism accounts for a 20% share of GDP in Greece, 18% in Portugal, 15% in Spain and 13% in Italy, according to estimates of the World Bank. Despite the many relaxations of rules and containment, the hope from domestic tourism is low due to a remaining fear in people along with uncontrollable death-toll. According to the assessments of the European Union (EU) 255 billion euros will be needed to assist the Member States to recover. They expect an expense of around 120 billion euros as an extra investment to restore the operations of various entrepreneurs and operators.

Expectations of the situation turning over for better shifted to April next year by many restaurants and businesses. Tourism is supposed to make a comeback to its old glory, not until 2023. Tourism has always bounced back even after facing many crises like back in 2008. A Marshall Plan is anticipated by many countries for a recovery plan and a joint plan needs to be uptake for supporting smaller countries like Croatia, Herzegovina, Austria etc. Hopefully, the situations will turn back to good and with the advent of vaccination trials and mitigation if the COVID situation and solid planning – a comeback is not unsubstantiated.

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