Madrid, May 21 (efe-epa).- European governments have pledged more than 50 billion euros to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the tourism industry.
The importance of the industry varies in each country.
In France it accounts for just over 7.4 percent of its GDP while in Greece it amounts to 25 percent.
The most generous emergency finance package has come from Paris, which has invested 18 billion euros to try to keep the industry afloat.
In Italy, families have been given money to spend at hotels while Portugal has rolled out a clean and safe certificate for business, to show which restaurants and hotels meet the health and safety standards required to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
The Spanish government approved credit lines (ICO) worth 400 million euros for the tourism industry in mid-March.
These funds have already dried up, according to the ICO’s webpage.
Businesses in the sector can also take advantage of general ICO lines to fight this crisis, which so far total 84.5 billion.
As of 6 May, some 50,000 firms had requested the lifeline at a value of 6.1 billion euros.
Around 230,000 self-employed workers in the industry are receiving benefits for cessation of activity and 930,000 registered employees have been placed on temporary leave.
The government has also imposed a two-week quarantine for anyone arriving in Spain, which has been criticised by some for hampering the sector.
Spain welcomed 83.7 million tourists in 2019, making it the second-most visited destination.
These holidaymakers invested 92 billion euros in the economy, equating to 12 percent of the country’s GDP and providing almost 13 percent of its jobs.