The drag is felt acutely in tourist destinations dependent on air travel, like the Canary Islands, hundreds of miles from mainland Spain. Airlines carried 15 million visitors to the archipelago last year, but the flight capacity this month is just 30 percent of what it was a year ago.
Italy has tried to promote national tourism by issuing a so-called holiday bonus, a 150-euro voucher per Italian for lodging, up to €500 per family. Dario Franceschini, the minister of culture and tourism, told Parliament this month that about 400,000 vouchers had been issued, worth €183 million in total. According to Italian news reports, however, only a small fraction of hotels accept them.
Greece, though suffering less from the pandemic than either Italy or Spain, has still seen scant evidence of a rebound in tourism. In the first 12 days of July, passenger traffic at the Athens airport was down 75 percent from a year ago.
Though all of the countries of southern Europe have emerged from lockdown, new outbreaks there and quarantine orders elsewhere have added hurdles. This month, Britain said that people coming from Portugal, among other countries, would be forced to quarantine on arrival, a move that essentially choked off British tourism there.
Outbreaks have also occurred around major tourism hubs like Barcelona, where about three million residents were told on Friday to stay indoors to help contain the coronavirus.
Carlos García Pastor, the marketing director of Logitravel Group, a Spanish travel operator that had revenue of about €800 million last year, said that his company expected earnings to drop at least 50 percent this year.
The final result, he said, “will really depend on how many new outbreaks there are.”
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