Josefina DOMÍNGUEZ-MUJICA, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
Mercedes RODRÍGUEZ-RODRÍGUEZ, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
Everyone knows that during the COVID-19 pandemic immobility gained ground. All kinds of mobilities diminished and, especially, those linked to the international. The fall in the number of flights and tourists because of the border closure hit production hard in many countries whose economies depended heavily on tourism. This fact can be recognized in the macroeconomic indicators of the different countries of the world, aside from their development level. In the case of the North-western African countries, Morocco and Senegal are two of those affected by the restrictions of international movements that carried out an important decrease in the profit derived from the tourism activity.
It is necessary to take in mind that Moroccan and Senegal tourism destinations not only benefit from legal businesses linked to this formal activity but from different type of informal jobs developed under its umbrella (tour guides, street sellers, artisans, etc.) Therefore, to the reduction in hiring waiters, cleaners, workers of the maintenance services, etc. must be added the collapse of those informal activities, bringing about an increase in the level of unemployment, and being the most affected the youngest from the less income social classes. This is a circumstance that allow to assess the high growth in the irregular migrations by sea bound for the Canary Islands.
In the other side of the coin, the Canary archipelago, in the outmost of the European Union, is an important destination for European tourists and the most of hotels and apartments closed because of the paralysis caused by the pandemic. However, some entrepreneurs offered their establishments to allocate irregular immigrants through contracts signed with the Spanish government to avoid the closure and to mitigate losses. Consequently, the pandemic caused a new nexus mobility/immobility in relation to tourism activity in times of the pandemic according to the international unbalanced political-economic regions of the world
Keywords: irregular migrations|tourism sector|Morocco|Senegal|Canary Islands