A hard Brexit could jeopardize at least 100,000 jobs linked to tourism in the United Kingdom and 80,000 in the rest of Europe in the short term, of which 25,000 in Spain, according to the estimates of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC, its acronym in English).
And it is that the exit of United Kingdom from the European Union without agreement would cause “a difficult situation”, among other sectors for tourism, as warned by the world tourism lobby.
In an interview with Europa Press, the president of the WTTC, Gloria Guevara, explained that the difficulties that the British can encounter to travel to certain countries of the European Union may cause them to look towards other destinations further afield, such as the Caribbean, Asia and Middle East, which already offers “incredible offers from London”, which would harm Spain as the main recipient of British visitors.
However, Guevara predicts good results for tourism in Spain also this year, which will also contribute to the WTTC Global Summit in April, as well as improvements in both quantity and quality.
World Travel & Tourism Council, the only private international organization that brings together the most powerful leaders of the global travel and tourism industry, has chosen the city of Seville as the venue for the summit that will be held from the 2nd to the 4th of April, where 600 executives from tourism companies will meet.
Diversify and desire
Guevara has argued that the Spanish tourism sector should not focus its strategy only on attracting quality tourism or high purchasing power -with a good level of spending (+3%) – but do a joint planning between Government, autonomous communities and industry private where diversify the offer in the different regions incorporating new segments such as rural, adventure or business.
In fact, he pointed out that when analyzing the percentages of leisure tourism and business in Spain, for example, measured in terms of spending, there is still room for improvement, with comparisons below the European average. So only 12% of spending in Spain corresponds to business compared to 88% of leisure, while the average fork in Europe is 77% leisure-23% business.
Likewise, in the comparable national-international demand mix, spending comes from 56% of international tourism and 44% of national tourism (compared to the average 69% national-31% international in Europe). In France, with more tourists it is more evident that it receives less expenditure from abroad (28% international-72% national)
For Guevara, quality tourism is “a niche” that requires investment in competitive infrastructures, such as airports, ports or hotels that require a “reconversion” to a more luxurious segment. In addition, among the Chinese tourists in which the promotion of Spain as a destination is being projected, “there are very few rich”. However, it is positive to include this segment to break seasonality and achieve more stable flows.
He also highlighted the need to “technologyize” tourism to adapt it to new technologies. If the millennial tourist had been born of the hand of new technologies and traveled five or six times a year, the tourist of the ‘generation Z’ has been born inside them and the trips are part of his daily life.
“All prospects are positive” for 2019, Guevara pointed out, to insist that work is being done on the challenges that challenge the sector to “turn them into opportunities”.
Among these challenges, he has listed natural disasters, trade wars between China and the United States, the correct implementation of technology and the ‘Brexit’ that affect the sector in general worldwide.
Although until March they will not have the official figures on tourism in 2018, Guevara places their growth between 3% and 6%, with an increase of 6% of travelers, both national and international. In addition, they estimate that tourism activity is “well above” 4%, surpassing the global economy.
This growth highlights some countries that “continue to grow a lot”, such as China, which continues to be “a spearhead”, as well as global growth in the Asian region after the improvement of connectivity.