Coronavirus in Europe: how to save the summer season News and analysis from Europe DW


Among EU member states, Croatia is the country most dependent on tourism, accounting for a quarter of GDP. In Greece, on the other hand, 26 out of every 100 people are employed in this sector. In terms of absolute revenues, Spain is in first place with 71 billion euros in 2019, followed by France, Italy and Germany.


It is in Spain, where the tourism sector employs 2.7 million people, that the industry has welcomed the government’s decision to introduce a 14-day compulsory quarantine for foreigners. And while the opening of the beaches is being discussed elsewhere, this quarantine in Spain is valid until the beginning of July, Neue Z├╝rcher Zeitung points out. In the meantime, it is being discussed how to ensure distance along the beaches – whether by preserving plots or by introducing shifts so that everyone can get access.


Italy, for its part, has been opening its borders since early June, but no one expects crowds of tourists to invade immediately. Therefore, the government relies mainly on holidaymakers from Italy itself to fill hotels, beaches and campsites. For this purpose, subsidies are provided – up to 500 euros per household, or a total of 2.4 billion euros.


In Portugal, restaurants are open again on Monday, but with up to 50 percent of their capacity to ensure security. It also relies heavily on local tourists, but they will only be able to compensate for the absence of foreigners. In Madeira, for example, where there are only 90 cases of coronavirus, visitors must present a certificate no older than 72 hours that they have taken a negative test.


According to the Neue Zurcher Zeitung, Greece is in a thankless situation. While the country is coping well with the epidemic, economic forecasts are not rosy at all, in a year in which hopes were hoped that a painful reform policy would finally bear fruit. The government plans to open the borders to foreign tourists on July 1st to accommodate at least some of the 34 million people registered last year. According to the Minister of Tourism Harris Teoharis, the intentions to advertise Greece envisage to focus on the successful fight against the virus and the related positive change in the country’s image, perceived as a constant source of crises. “Greece is a safe country,” the minister was quoted as saying by the Rainische Post.

However, a large part of the population is against the mass influx of foreigners, in connection with which the government is set as the beginning of concluding bilateral agreements on the reception and dispatch of foreigners without quarantine requirements.

Spain is most dependent on tourism as a share of GDP, followed by Italy, China and Germany


“The French will be able to rest in France in July and August,” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said last week, and the statement delighted his compatriots, who have so far been allowed to travel more than 100km only in exceptional cases and in writing. Access to the beaches has only recently become possible, and restaurants and hotels remain closed at least until the second of June.


Croatia is not only the EU’s most dependent on tourism member state, but the influx of foreigners is very concentrated seasonally. That is why at least the partial saving of the active season is extremely important – the summer losses cannot be compensated in the autumn. Restrictive measures for entry into the country have already been relaxed, there is no requirement for quarantine upon entry. And until the requirement for return quarantine is completely abolished in the EU as well, it relies on bilateral agreements.


Still unresponsive to the economic crisis two years ago, Turkey is already in a new crisis, which has caused the government in Ankara to try to minimize economic damage as part of its fight against the virus. The Turkish economy is much more diversified than that of other southern European resort countries. However, tourism plays a central role in economic recovery – last year’s turnover of the industry was 35 billion euros. After the end of the holy month of Ramadan, restrictions on domestic travel will be lifted, and international flights must be resumed from mid-June.

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