• The Financial District


When the world ground to a virtual standstill in May due to coronavirus lockdowns, international tourist numbers collapsed by 98 per cent compared to 2019, according to new figures from the World Tourism Organization.

Across the European Union, holiday plans were shattered and tourism plummeted, as countries hurriedly closed their borders in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19, according to Euronews.

The shutdowns have cost economies dearly, but a new Euronews poll carried out by Redfield & Wilton Strategies shows many Europeans agree that it was the right thing to do. And most respondents in all four countries surveyed – Germany, France, Italy and Spain – now plan to spend their summer holidays at home or travelling within their own country.

According to our poll, the Germans were those most intent on going abroad for their holidays before the pandemic, and more than two-thirds of Italians, French and Spaniards had some kind of travel plan, whether abroad or domestically.

Now 61 per cent of Germans say they aren't going anywhere, and a similar proportion in Spain are staying put. The Italians and French are slightly more adventurous, but more than half of them have no travel plans whatsoever. In all four countries, only between 8% (for Spain) and 15% (for Germany) of respondents are planning on going abroad.

Beyond the fear of falling ill in a foreign country, there’s a growing concern for those who do plan to travel that they may face mandatory quarantine when they return home, as already ordered by the UK and Norway on travellers coming from Spain.

While the tourism industry is reeling all around the world, some nations might be able to somewhat offset the loss of foreign tourists by a surge in domestic tourism.

Spinks says France, Italy and Germany are at an advantage here. They’re nations with a high appetite for travel and a more comfortable income to do so, compared to less wealthy countries like Montenegro whose economies depend heavily on foreign tourists and will be hit especially hard.

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