By Laura Kemp • 27 May 2020 • 8:52
More than 2,600 marijuana plants hidden in a house in Almeria
Credit: Policia Nacional
Open spaces, surrounded by nature, secluded, and without having to venture outside Spanish borders. These features have become new priorities for travellers after the coronavirus crisis and its effects on the tourism market.
According to the Spanish Federation of Campings (SFC), reservations for this type of establishment have increased by 70% in the last 15 days. Not only that, but much of these bookings come from people who have never visited a campsite before.
The typical profile of these latest tourists is families with children who want to enjoy the outdoors in a safe environment where the safety distance can be easily maintained. This is what Ana Bariain, president of the SFC and vice-president of the Spanish Tourism Board, has said.
This is optimistic data from a booming sector which has seen its customer base increase in recent years at the rate of 8% each year, reaching 22.3 million overnight stays in 2019, according to the National Institute of Statistics.
Furthermore, during the high summer season (July and August) 85% of these facilities were at full capacity. Translated into total number of campers, the figure was around 4.3 million users throughout Spain, 30% of which were foreign tourists.
This summer, Bariain assumes that the number of visitors coming from abroad will decrease, although she is optimistic that there will be some foreigners after the 14-day quarantine is lifted on July 1.
“The fact that our accommodations are outdoors will help us to redirect this crisis. Because where better than a camping to disconnect from this nightmare? For many years we have been improving our image and now we are not going to take a step back” says Bairian in an open letter to campers.
In addition, the sanitary protocol for campsites has already been approved by the Ministry of Health. This way, campsites, as well as hotels or restaurants, have a guide on how to deal with the de-escalation process after the pandemic so that the nearly 1,200 campsites in our country will be able to open their doors before July 1. In fact, some are already open, since they could do it in phase 1 .
The protocol measures include prioritizing the preparation of bungalows so that remain empty an entire 48 hours before the arrival of any new clients. In any case, they will have to be completely disinfected between the exit and entry of each user. Not surprisingly, extreme cleanliness, especially in common spaces, is one of the maxims of the “new normality”.
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Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
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