In the middle of trying to jumpstart its stuttering tourism sector following the coronavirus shutdown, Spain saw the number of daily new COVID-19 cases spike again, from below 500 in early July to more than 2,000 over the past few days. Coming in the middle of the summer holiday season, a season the Spanish economy desperately needs after a disastrous spring, the new wave of infections couldn’t come at a worse time.
On Tuesday, the German Federal Foreign Office issued an official warning against traveling to the regions of Catalonia, Aragon and Navarre due to high infection activity, striking a bitter blow to hotels and restaurants in the affected regions.
As the following chart shows, Spain’s tourism industry heavily depends on German travelers, who form the second largest group of international tourists coming to the Southern European country and its beautiful islands. With more than 11 million arrivals in 2019, German tourists are only outnumbered by British travelers, 18 million of which made their way to Spain last year.