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Spanish tourism sector expected to reach 88% of pre-Covid size

Spain’s tourism sector is expected to reach near pre-pandemic levels in 2022, according to industry association Exceltur.

While the trade body said Omicron and supply chain issues will prevent a full recovery this year, it forecasts the 2022 market to be worth €135 billion, or 88% of its pre-Covid value.

Spain, the UK’s largest outbound destination, was the world’s second-most visited country before the pandemic.

In 2021, it hit 57% of its pre-Covid size, according to Exceltur, which expects activity to return to its previous size in 2023.

A report by the group, translated to English by Reuters, noted Spain’s tourism recovery was unlikely to start in earnest before April.

“Most business people are again postponing the full recovery of revenues to pre-pandemic levels to 2023, as a result of the triple impact of the Omicron, the energy and supply crisis at the end of 2021,” Exceltur said.

The group expects beaches and the countryside to bounce back while urban destinations more dependent on international demand and business travel will see a less intense recovery.

If the forecasts are accurate, tourism will contribute to 10.5% of Spain’s overall GDP this year, versus 5.5% in 2020 and the 7.4% Exceltur expects for 2021.

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