|Published:||18 May at 6 PM|
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British expat-owned hospitality businesses in Spain are furious at the Andalusian government’s attempt to cancel the summer tourist season.
Obviously, avoiding a second wave of coronavirus infections and deaths is essential, but cancelling the summer season would mean many thousands of expat-owned businesses would be bankrupted. Obviously, southern Spain’s main industry is the hospitality sector, with some 800,000 businesses facing seriously hard times even now.
Spain was one of the EU’s best-performing member states up until the virus hit, ending many expats’ dreams of running a bar, pub, hotel or restaurant in a sunny, warm place. Should the lockdowns and other restrictions continue over July and August, business owners are estimated to be facing a loss of half their annual incomes and perhaps even more should low-cost airlines be forced into bankruptcy due to the pandemic, As it is, major airlines are expected to double their seat prices to make up for the cancellation of all but repatriation flights both in the region and across the world.
Another hard-hit industry is real estate, with demand for properties now a memory of better times and asking prices falling like snow in winter. Many UK citizens had been planning to make the move to Spain before Brexit is a done deal and were including property purchase as a priority. One digital marketing firm is reporting increased enquiries for trips in spring 2021, but no-one knows exactly what newly arrived expats can expect on the political scene.
Those whose potential Spanish homes are now under construction could find themselves in a tricky situation should prices suddenly fall, thus losing developers’ profits and causing some to back out entirely. Also, committed buyers on time-sensitive contracts may decide to back out, claiming back their deposits and destabilising development finance as a whole. Already, all RICS-registered chartered surveyors must now declare all valuations as ‘uncertain in material valuation’.
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