One of the economic sectors hardest hit by the health emergency caused by COVID-19 is tourism. Due to mobility restrictions to reduce the spread of the new coronavirus, this industry loses 114 jobs per hour across the country.
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This is data reported by the Tourism Research and Competitiveness Center (Cicotur) of the Anahuac University, which has so far accounted for 3.1 million jobs, when in this same month of 2019, the figure was 4.1 million jobs. The industries that have been most affected are airlines and hotels.
However, the number could be higher, according to the report on the impact of the pandemic published on Monday, since the estimate in relation to lost jobs does not consider the companies that will completely fail.
During this period, the tourist industry loses nearly 4-billion pesos a day due to consumption during the health emergency, due to inactivity. This figure represents an equivalent of 80% of the total budget that the Ministry of Tourism (Sectur) allocated this year.
Another element against Mexican tourism is that the closure of hotel activities and the decrease in both domestic and foreign travelers will leave a tax gap of around 101.5 billion pesos. The main cause of this will be the lack of VAT contribution, as well as the ISR.
As if this were not enough, the very low number of foreigners arriving in the country will generate a reduction of 3.5 billion pesos for the travel visas paid by international visitors, which is known as Non-Resident Law (DNR), which is currently the main funds to finance the Maya Train, in the Mexican southeast.
According to Francisco Madrid Flores, general director of Cicotur and former undersecretary of Tourism Operation of Sectur, in the Felipe Calderón government, tourism accounted for 8.7% of the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2018, but for this year, This percentage would drop to 4.9% due to the effects of the new coronavirus pandemic.
Estimates of the decline in national GDP point to a drop of 7 percent. Of this data, Madrid Flores said during a virtual conference, “more than half will be explained by the drop in tourist activity,” since a 3.8 percent collapse would be registered in this area.
In addition, the forecasts by Cicotur point out that tourist consumption will drop 1.6 billion pesos, that is, almost a quarter of the budget for the Federation’s expenses by 2020. Or, enough to build 11 Mayan trains and eight Dos Bocas refineries, according to calculations from the newspaper La Jornada.
A survey carried out for the report of the university research center among companies in this sector indicated that the recovery of the tourism industry, at the end of the year, will be 46% in relation to national visitors and 55% for international.
Due to this situation, Madrid explained during an interview with Forbes Mexico magazine last week, it is necessary to recognize tourism as an extremely important element in the recovery of the country’s economy.
“Tourism must be a priority, it must be treated differently from other sectors. We are going to find that the impact of tourism is going to be so strong that not only is the economy not giving tourism, but tourism is going to take away from the economy, so we would have to solve that public policy at the level federal and local”, he explained.