“Tourism flows on the whole are not expected to fully recover to their pre-crisis levels in 2021,” the Commission said. In Italy, tourism will ‘lag behind’ the broader economic recovery as visitors ‘only gradually return as uncertainty diminishes’.
Tourism accounts for 21 per cent of the economy in Greece, and 17 per cent in Portugal. It’s often the main employer in regions where other industries are absent, providing crucial income for families and support for local economies.
Vaccinations bring hope for last-minute bookings
With vaccinations rolled out across Europe, the outlook for tourism will continue to improve and hopefully spontaneous holiday bookings will boost numbers. However, even if there’s a surge in last-minute bookings, the benefits won’t be felt evenly. The European Commission says tourists will favour destinations at home or within driving distance over places like Greece and Portugal.