Tapas in / Kebabs out as Spain Touches 87% of YoY Discretionary Levels, but Greece at -150%

The latest data from the Huq All-Consumer Indicator (Europe) shows strong signs of recovery across consumer discretionary industries for countries including Spain and Italy – but continued woe for Greece.

Following the lifting of restrictions both domestically and for visitors from overseas, holiday favourites Spain and Italy have recovered 87% and 78% of 2019 levels respectively. Greece meanwhile is flat through June-July at around -150% of year-on-year levels.

To provide additional context, the UK stands at just 22% of of latest year’s equivalent value while throughout lockdown Sweden experienced an average maximum drop to around 55% of year-on-year levels, and is now above or inline with 2019 at 105%.

The impact of European flight restrictions laid bare

While this is indicator provides an aggregate measure of discretionary consumer activity across both domestic and visitor markets, that Spain (87%) and Italy (78%) have recovered to compare fairly well with last year, why is it that Greece lags so far behind?

One can speculate that given only minor differences in social distancing policy between these countries, Greece’s relative inaccessibility from European summer tourism markets compared to Italy and Spain has a role to play. This is reinforced by analysis from Eurocontrol showing that year-on-year flight levels across Europe in June remain down by 78%.

While this measure of discretionary consumer activity is not informed exclusively by tourism, it does nonetheless help quantify the extent of Covid-19’s impact on summer tourism economies and the role that geographic location has to play even within Europe.


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