If there is an area where the coronavirus is hitting hard, that is tourism, dragging with it the companies dependent on business trips. From the moment the first positive cases were detected in Spain, there was a sudden stop in the movement of tourists linked to the waterfall of cancellations of events, fairs and congresses.
After the suspension of Mobile World Congress On February 24, the activity of congress tourism stopped dead. It is a sector that leaves more than 6,000 million eurosIn addition, in recent years it has soared its growth to position itself as the fourth most influential country in the world behind the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom.
One of those affected by the coronavirus hit in the sector is Valentine-Gamazo Nativity Scene, CEO and founder of Best Way Congresses and Hostesses, a company that has more than 20 years of experience. “Only companies that organize telematic meetings have been saved, since personal services have been paralyzed,” he says.
«I have lost 90% of my turnover in a few key months for the sector», figures the businesswoman with a calculator in hand and explains that “in March, April and May the shareholders meetings of large companies, the most important business congresses and the season of fairs in Ifema are held.”
A blank year
“We plan to start the activity in the month of June”, calculates Valentín-Gamazo, but predicts that “the 2020 is going to be a blank year, although it is foreseen that the sector will become active again in September ».
Postponement was the first solution to avoid the crisis caused by the coronavirus, but the result has been a cascade of cancellations within the business tourism sector: «We have said goodbye to all the fairs and congresses, although we thought that most of them were finally postponed» .
The founder of Best Way is clear: «The measures to save your companies in this type of crisis must be taken when you start the business, so it is essential to have a good team, serve solvent clients and not live beyond your business possibilities ».
«In my case, having good customers It has helped me not to lose 100% of the invoicing, since my company provides fixed services to the companies of the Ibex 35 ″, he explains.
The formula to eliminate mistrust
The hostesses and hostesses agency has launched a personalized attention service, information and control to guarantee the safety of clients, ranging from explaining social distancing protocols to providing gloves or masks.
“We have launched this service because it is essential that customers feel safe given the great distrust that the coronavirus crisis is causing in consumers. A formula that we will begin to implement in various shopping centers and surfaces, “says Valentín-Gamazo.
«It is an investment that gives return to business, since it improves customer confidence and will help the businessman to know what the needs of his audience are, “said the businesswoman.
For its part, the founder of Best Way crossed out the aid from the Pedro Sánchez government of “insufficient” and explains that “the sector has not had any specific support measure”.
However, Valentín-Gamazo claims to be more concerned with «the legal uncertainty that the Executive has generated with the announcement of the repeal of the labor reform “and asks that they not forget” to encourage hiring, since it is the wheel that is going to move the mill “.
“This is not the time to make any change if it is not for the best, we entrepreneurs are making a great effort to maintain our businesses and we need the Government to support us in one of the hardest times for the business community, “he concludes.
The coronavirus crisis is dealing a brutal blow to the Spanish economy. Freelancers, SMEs and entrepreneurs are suffering the consequences of both the coronavirus itself and the measures taken by the Executive of Pedro Sánchez to alleviate it. At OKDIARIO we want to know your story: tell us about it in [email protected]