from the editor

Holidays in times of coronavirus

Tourism has always been one of Catalonia’s economic engines. Its weight represents more than 12 per cent of Catalan GDP, while in the EU as a whole, the figure does not reach 4 per cent. Right now, however, tourism is one of the sectors that has been hit hardest by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, with an expected rise in unemployment, business closures and business losses to levels unimaginable just three or four months ago. That is why experts and professionals are wondering what the future holds for this sector, what will be left of the current tourism model and what tourism will look like from now on. One thing seems clear for the summer season: most Europeans will decide to go on holiday in their home country. “national” tourism is back!

People will devote their resources to a holiday closer to their home, which will allow them to spend less money and rediscover their country. This has forced the tourism sector to refocus their campaigns on local consumers, a market that had been considered lost and replaced by foreign tourism. Although the drop in turnover will be severe, the sector is trying to reinvent itself and make a commitment to two decisive factors: proximity and quality.

The other risk hovering over the tourism industry is uncertainty. How the air transport system will be rebuilt, how health security measures will affect establishments such as hotels and restaurants, what spending cuts families will have to face with the fear of how the economic recession will affect them, and so on.

However, there is one thing that the virus and lockdown have not been able to eliminate, but rather have stimulated: the desire to go on holiday, to leave home and to get together with friends, to revisit forgotten landscapes. And fortunately, Catalonia has plenty to offer. This summer issue offers you a wide range of routes around Catalonia, which will help you rediscover the country’s hidden gems of sea and mountain landscape, culture, locally sourced gastronomy, entertainment, history... a wide range of quality for the whole family, with safety taken into account. Now we have entered the “new normal“ (whatever that means), we must take advantage of every opportunity presented to us, and enjoy the well-deserved holidays. You never know, a new lockdown might be waiting for us when we get back...

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