• Nicolasgs

Tourism or covid?

A couple hours ago I was utterly impressed and perplex to see an interview that one of the most well-known Spanish media channels published in their instagram feed. It was a pretty respectful interview in which the interviewer asked a French tourist visiting Madrid about the restrictions the Spanish government has imposed to tourists.

During the interview, the french sightseer concluded that he had zero problems in terms of getting in the country and travelling throughout most of the Spanish communities. From my point of view, that should be something positive to be proud of. However, the reason to such flexibility was because there were no officers who stopped him at the airport to ask for a Covid test nor anything similar during his travelling.

It is unquestionable that by the moment, foreigners have way more freedom than Spanish people to travel and to do tourism around the country. In fact, Spanish citizens can't legally travel to other communities to visit family or friends while some German, English and French visitors enjoy their vacations in Mallorca.

As we all know, Spain is a country that relies mainly in two sectors; tourism and construction, being tourism the most important one. Approximately 2 out of 10 Spanish families work on the tourist sector or on a sector that directly depends on it.

During the Covid crisis, millions of people have lost their incomes due to the lack of tourism and most of them relied on the government help. Nevertheless, those people were amazed to see to what extent that same government marginalized and abandoned them; the pay-checks they announced never arrived and the capacity restrictions for bars and restaurants changed every other day, making it impossible to plan anything at all. In consequence to all those things, entire families haven't been able to pay their bills and to secure a home while seeing their businesses collapse.

In view of these facts and many more, maybe it's a good idea to keep opening borders and let as many tourists in as possivle, even though we know most of them won't listen to restrictions and some youngster will just book their flights to spend a whole weekend partying illegally in a country they don't care about. Perhaps is a good idea to sacrifice lives to keep our economy alive... But I don't think that's the correct thing to do. What I believe we should do as a country in this exact moment is to think whether we should change or not our whole economic structure, maybe the whole tourism-dependent structure is wrong and the pandemic has demonstrated it, maybe we're on the tipping point and we need a rapid change.

Reflection stage:

Are our governors aware that there are people dying while tourists party with very limited restrictions? Are those deaths really worth the money that small and big businesses are making? Should restrictions be way more hard on tourists? Is it possible to be less dependent on tourism?