Puerto Soller at the end of April.


José Luis Zoreda, the vice-president of the Exceltur alliance for tourism excellence, said on Thursday that tourism requires "preferential treatment" in the same way as this was once given to banking and the steel and naval industries.

He explained that 41% of jobs which are still subject to ERTE terms are in what is "strictly" the tourism industry. This shows the enormous vulnerability of an industry which "clearly needs preferential treatment". Zoreda repeated a demand for ERTE to be extended until Easter next year and for this extension to be accompanied by the highest possible bonuses "in order to meet the needs, precariousness and catastrophe that the Spanish tourism sector is going through and will continue to go through".

He stressed the need for an immediate "rescue plan" and for ERTEs to have preferential extension for an industry which generates high levels of employment and related business activity in Spain.

Tourism, he added, is affected by restrictions on mobility and gatherings of people. Given this, preferential treatment is essential, with ERTEs being only the first step in preventing a "cascade" of business failure. The tourism industry could lose 98,000 million euros this year, while some 800,000 jobs are at risk. Without downplaying the demands of other sectors, Zoreda insisted that tourism requires special attention or there will be "galloping job losses" over the next two months.