Eurozone crisis: Europe's tourism-driven economies face two more lost summers

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Top destinations that tourists like to visit are expected to receive less than 50 percent of their usual visitors, according to investment bank BAML. Major holiday destinations such as Greece and Spain may not again receive their pre-lockdown tourist numbers until 2023. Despite progress on vaccines within the EU and infection numbers plummeting holiday destinations will remain off-limits for longer than expected, according to the HSBC estimates.

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Chris Hare, an economist at HSBC, estimated tourist numbers will fall below half of pre-pandemic numbers this summer.

He said: “It is clear that the tourism season has started on the back foot.

"Spending by foreign tourists in Spain was only around €1bn (£860m) in Spain this March.

"This is a far cry from €15bn in 2019 and even almost €12bn last year.

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Europe's tourism-driven economies face two more lost summersEurope's tourism-driven economies face two more lost summers (Image: GETTY)

“So even if the prospects for the tourism industry look brighter going forward, there is still a long way to catch up even to reach last year's levels.”

Tourism is a major industry for many European nations.

It accounts for 20 percent of the Greek economy.

More than one-fifth of the workforce in both Greece and Portugal are employed in the tourism industry.

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