Tourism is undoubtedly a driver of economic and social development. Before the pandemic, the tourist trade generated more than 10% of global GDP, a percentage that was even higher in tourism-dependent like Spain, where in 2019 it accounted for 12% of GDP.
Undoubtedly, the coronavirus crisis has hit the tourism sector hard, and to date it continues to be one of the hardest hit. According to UNWTO estimates, by the end of 2021 the loss in global GDP will have exceeded US$4 trillion. But let's not forget that behind these figures there are many people: it is estimated that this health crisis has put at risk more than 100 million direct jobs in the tourism industry.
Today, thanks to advances in vaccination and, above all, the desire to travel, we can say that we are on the road to recovery. For this reason, at Grupo Piñero we would like to join in the celebration of World Tourism Day, which in this special year is being held under the slogan “Tourism for Inclusive Growth”.
At Grupo Piñero we believe in the transformative power of tourism both in terms of the economy as well as socially and environmentally, which is why we promote human leadership that, aligned with the United Nations 2030 agenda, allows us to advance in a model of responsible and sustainable tourism that can meet the challenges we are currently facing, such as the health, social and environmental crisis. I am really grateful and proud of all the learning and resilience of the whole sector, but especially of our company, of each and every member of this family.
From the beginning of the pandemic, we realised that the most important thing was to protect people, so our priority was to be close to them, to maintain a close and human dialogue with our employees, our neighbours, our suppliers and the authorities, allowing us more than ever to understand their needs in order to find solutions together.
Among the measures taken, priority was assigned to those aimed at preserving the company's jobs and talent in all the countries where we operated, paying special attention to critical groups. We also continue to work with local communities through our health and safety programmes and support for vulnerable families and groups to mitigate the effects of the crisis to the best of our ability.
On the Road to Recovery
Today we look to the future with optimism, convinced that together we can rebuild a more resilient, sustainable and inclusive sector. We will therefore work to restore tourism to its position as a provider of employment and income and as a protector of our cultural and natural heritage.
At Grupo Piñero we are moving forward on the road to recovery. We currently have 13 of our 27 hotels open, and we have a reopening plan through the end of the year that will allow us to continue progressively recovering our activity and generating employment. By the end of the first half of the year, we had managed to recover 75% of jobs.
In this recovery process, strategic alliances have been a key lever in the evolution of our company. These include Bahia Principe Golf's alliance with the PGA of America, which represents an important boost to the golf business by partnering with one of the most important international sports organisations; the joint venture between Smytravel and Soltour, resulting in Soltour Travel Partners, which takes advantage of the synergies of both companies; and the recent alliance between Turiscar Ecotrain and Qev Tech Holding to offer sustainable mobility solutions in the Caribbean and Brazil.
But, today more than ever, we remain deeply committed to caring for people, and the planet. We understand that this path must start with ourselves, with all of us, with our families, our neighbours, our community - this is the only way to achieve social development and truly inclusive growth.
Connecting with the territories and their cultural and natural heritage is our way of continuing to add value, always aligned with our purpose as a company: to create exciting experiences for people.
Supporting tourism for all starts with ourselves!!!