Updated: Nov 3, 2020
DBRS Morningstar has released a report on the economic vulnerabilities faced by the southern European countries most exposed to tourism and COVID-19. Greece and Cyprus are among the most vulnerable economies, and will be impacted significantly by the slowdown in tourism.
Spain: 14 September 2020
According to the United Nations World Travel Organisation (UNWTO), Europe is the world’s most visited region. Greece and Cyprus have increased tourism arrivals significantly in recent years, accounting for nearly 37-38 million arrivals in 2019.
Due to the COVID Pandemic, Cyprus and Greece are facing a recession given the cancellation of tourism arrivals in each country. Navigator Consulting has reported extensively on the unfolding situation in each country.
According to DBRS Morningstar, the longer the epidemiological situation continues, the greater the risk that the travel and tourism industries in these countries will suffer lasting damage. This will result in permanent job losses and closures of some businesses. Even after the travel restrictions are largely lifted across geographies, the fear of travel might linger for longer.
DBRS Morningstar reports that Greece’s tourism sector accounts for 20.8% of GDP and 21.7% of employment. The Cyprus tourism sector accounts for 13.8% of GDP and 13.2% of total employment.
We note that the World Travel and Tourism Council definitions of tourism revenue, which include a broader classification of related revenue, establish a higher share of GDP in both countries.
According to DBRS, the least vulnerable countries are Germany, Belgium, Finland and Slovakia, given the lower importance of tourism in these economies.
Within the southern European countries, Cyprus is among the most reliant on foreign tourism spending. Tourism from outside the EU and the UK, as measured by the tourist arrivals at accommodation establishments, is more pronounced in Cyprus (31.4%), thanks to incoming tourism from Russia, Lebanon and Israel. In Greece, it is only 22.6% of overnights.
Navigator Consulting has been reporting extensively on the risks and impacts of COVID-19 on the tourism sector in both Greece and Cyprus. We support clients restructure their operations to prepare for COVID-19 and wider unfolding risks and opportunities in the region.
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