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Portugal, Spain, and Greece Have Signs of Tourism Recovery

News It is not a secret that tourism is an important source of income for many countries. This is particularly true about southern destinations. As many economies suffer from declines caused by the pandemic, tourism may be a way to help local businesses and the economy in general to recover. No wonder why southern European countries try to do everything possible in order not to lose this summer season. ForwardKeys, a company that specializes in travel analysis, reports that there has been a jump in flight bookings to countries like Portugal, Greece, and Spain.

April and May were incredibly hard for aviation around the world. Companies had to survive in a situation when almost no one was making bookings. However, it looks like the situation is changing slowly. The last week of May clearly showed a positive shift.

On May 20, the Prime Minister of Greece told that the country would start accepting foreign guests starting from July 1, 2020. No need to say how glad hotels in Athens and other Greek cities were to hear the news. Greece was not alone in its initiative. Two days later, Portugal announced the reopening of borders starting from June 15. Finally, Spain is going to reopen its borders for foreign guests starting from July.

While it may be hard to get precise bookings from hotels in Barcelona or Lisbon, international flight bookings give an accurate outlook of the market’s up-to-date condition. It is clear that people miss traveling and do not want to spend their summer holidays at home. After the announcement about the reopening of the borders, the number of international flight bookings to Greece has skyrocketed from complete zero to 35% of its volume a year ago.

Portugal and Spain posted similar results. In just 12 days, the number of international flight tickets to Portugal grew from zero to 35% of the May-June 2019 result. For Spain, the uplift reached 30% of the previous year’s result. Leisure travelers are the biggest group responsible for growth. Expats who want to visit their friends and relatives are the second biggest category at the moment. Their bookings of airplane tickets have reached from 50% to 90% of the 2019 levels. However, many people are still afraid of flying due to the risk of infection. Current bookings in Portugal, Greece, and Spain are 52%, 49.8%, and 53.5% behind the levels of June 2019. It will be extremely challenging to save the summer holiday season for these countries.


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