|May 25, 2020||No Comments|
During his weekly televised press conference Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said on Saturday that Spain will reopen to overseas tourists by July. He failed to add the specific date that this could happen, or the requirements in place before visitors can enter the country. He simply said “safety conditions.” must be in place.
As a result, the restart of tourism, one of the critical drivers of Spain’s economy – will be reliant on deals with other countries to promote movement without putting travelers or destinations at risk from new COVID 19 infections. The Spanish government hopes the deals can be agreed on at a European level and not between states, as time is running short, and it is challenging for free movement within the European Union to be restored so soon.
Sánchez’s announcement shows the country expects to be ready to receive tourists this summer.
The objective of Sanchez’s message was to counteract a continuous stream of messages that recently have had a serious impact on the tourism sector of Spain. In particular, the report of an obligatory two-week quarantine – that is currently in effect – for any traveler coming in Spain.
This measure was translated as overseas tourists not being welcome in Spain and stopped the arrangements being made by important tour operators who were planning to restart activity in the country. Sánchez’s new announcement is designed to get the message to nations whose citizens regularly holiday in Spain that the country will be waiting to receive tourists this summer.
the goal of the message was to reactivate foreign demand and clear up any doubts in the sector, which accounts for more than 12% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Spain. The prime minister requested “all tourist businesses, bars, and restaurants, and beach and inland destinations to start getting ready from today [i.e. Saturday 23 May to restart activity in the coming days.”
As is to be expected, there are some “buts” in the government’s plan. The executive does not want to open borders prematurely without implementing the necessary guarantees in order to avoid a new outbreak of the coronavirus due to the importation of infections from abroad, as has happened in China and South Korea. “We have to progress with great care with regard to ensuring that arrivals are not at risk and are coming to a safe destination, and at the same time they must not pose a risk for the local population,” said Sánchez on Saturday, adding that the government will be working on safe origins and destinations.
In this respect, the sector is calling for clear protocols for arrivals at airports and agreed measures for tourism. “We have been working on the preparation of destinations for weeks,” sources from the Tourism Ministry stated.
Exceltur, (Alliance for Excellency in Tourism), is a non-profit group established by the Chairmen of the 28 leading Spanish tourist groups from these sectors: airlines, cruises, hotels, travel agencies, tour operators, credit cards companies, rent-a-car, tourist hospitals, and GDSs. for its part, Exceltur is calling for directions that follow a clear logic, in particular for beaches, which are their primary focus. “There cannot be restrictions that discourage people, and there must be a common policy, not with variations for each community,”