A man wearing a face mask walks in Pretoria square in Palermo, Italy, on March 11, 2020. Italy, where tourism represents 13 percent of the country's annual GDP, is under a nationwide lockdown to try to contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Tourism is one of the sectors of the European economy that will be most affected by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak in the Continent. The importance of tourism for Europe cannot be overstated: It represents around 4 percent of the European Union's GDP and accounts for more than 5 percent of the total workforce. Tourism is particularly important in Southern Europe because it represents around 21 percent of GDP in Greece, 16 percent in Spain, 13 percent in Italy and almost 10 percent in France. It is also a significant source of employment. The vast majority of companies in Europe's tourism sector are small and medium-sized businesses, which are particularly vulnerable to economic crises. This means that Europe in general, and Southern Europe in particular, stands to lose a lot if the ongoing coronavirus outbreak extends into the spring when tourism activity starts to pick up. A contraction in the tourism sector...
TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE
Copyright © Stratfor Enterprises, LLC. All rights reserved.