Spain’s tourism industry is bracing for a new wave of visitors after a surge in demand led by the election of conservative president Juan Manuel Santos.
“It’s a great thing, but we’ll see what happens,” said Fernando Fernandez, a senior manager at Gran Tourismo Sport, a local tourism company based in Zaragoza, north of Madrid.
“If it’s a lot, it’s great, if it’s less, then that’s good.
But I think the economy is going to recover in the next few years.”
He added that a lot of the country’s hotels, bars and restaurants will be closed and that the number of tourists will be reduced to around 2,500 per year by 2022, down from about 4,000 currently.
Tourism is a key sector of Spain’s economy, accounting for about 10% of the economy.
The country has struggled to cope with a huge increase in the number and number of people coming to visit, especially after the devastating earthquakes of March 2017.
It was the largest single event in tourism history, with nearly 1.5 million people arriving in the country.
More than 600 people died.
Spain’s economic woes are far from over, with the economy shrinking and unemployment soaring to its highest level since World War II.
On Wednesday, the country announced it would reduce its deficit by 1.2% this year and by 0.5% next year.
However, the government is still grappling with a $3 billion debt crisis, with Spain’s debt-to-GDP ratio still high.
The International Monetary Fund expects the country to default on its debt payments next year and is predicting the country will run a deficit of between 1% and 1.3% of gross domestic product (GDP).
Spain’s political instability and recession also made it difficult for tourism companies to attract tourists.
The government has been trying to boost tourism to offset the economic losses, but critics say it has been doing little to address the crisis.
On top of the recession, Spain has been hit by a series of attacks on tourist sites, most notably on the historic Alcázar, the site of the town of Santa Fe where hundreds of thousands of tourists visit every year.
In May, a group of masked men broke into the Alcázas shrine, burned a statue and smashed windows in the town’s historic square.
It is unclear what provoked the attack, but some blame the recent elections for the increase in anti-government sentiment in Spain.
On Thursday, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy called on the country “to make peace with its political crisis, to rebuild trust in the political system and to find solutions to its problems.”