By Cathy Elelman • 09 September 2020 • 11:31
GOOD NEWS: “This was something we have been demanding this summer”, the Balearic Economic Model, Tourism and Employment regional minister pointed out
CREDIT: Govern Illes Balears Noticias
THE Balearic government sees a “window of opportunity” in the UK’s shift to a more targeted approach to travel restrictions.
The regional administration said its Economic Model, Tourism and Employment department is working with the Spanish Government to establish safe air corridors with the UK after the British Government’s announcement on Monday that it has modified its policy.
It is now analysing separately the Covid-19 situation in countries’ mainland territories and islands.
UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told the Commons that through the use of “more enhanced data” the government is able to “pinpoint risk” in islands, “providing increased flexibility to add or remove them – distinct from the mainland – as infection rates change.”
As it stands the Balearics remain on the UK’s quarantine list due to the level of new cases of Covid-19. But the archipelago’s administration is hopeful that the UK’s change of strategy will be to the islands’ advantage once new infections rates drop.
Economic Model, Tourism and Employment regional minister Iago Negueruela, who has been in regular contact with the Spanish Secretary of State for Tourism Fernando Valdes in recent weeks to discuss issues like the UK’s decisions on travel restrictions, said this week’s announcement by the Boris Johnson administration is “good news” for the Balearics.
“This was something we have been demanding this summer”, Negueruela pointed out.
He also said the announcement made it very clear just how important it is to bring down the level of new Covid-19 cases on the islands as soon as possible.
“Now the first thing we have to do is to reduce our level of infections, although this decision by the British government allows us to view the horizon and start to prepare for 2021”, the regional minister commented.
Also this week Negueruela met with the FEHM Mallorca Hotel Federation president María Frontera and executive vice-president María José Aguiló to look at the current situation and the future options for the Balearics in the islands’ principal tourist markets.
Economic Model and Employment director general Llorenç Pou, Tourism director general Rosana Morillo, and the heads of the AETIB Balearic Island Tourism Strategy Agency, Tonina Alomar and Esther Callizo were also at the meeting.
The aim, the regional government said, is to further strengthen public-private collaboration to reinforce the image of the Balearics as a safe destination in short and medium-term
Commenting on the UK’s announcement this week, the FEHM president maintained that “from the first moment we have always considered that despite the difficulties, you have to work to keep up a certain tourism activity.
“Mallorca has a mid-season product and its value has to be highlighted.”
Like Negueruela, Frontera underlined an urgent need to reduce the level of infections, and also to get the message across to the Balearics’ visitor markets about the “tourism sector’s hard work in the application of hygiene and health protocols for dealing with Covid-19, the implementation of which has had the result that there has been practically no contagion with the tourism value chain.
“The health figures have to return to positive states and the message of a safe destination has to be reinforced”, she stressed.
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Cathy Elelman is the local writer for the Costa de Almeria edition of the Euro Weekly News.
Based in Mojacar for the last 21 years, Cathy is very much part of the local community and is always well and truly up on all the latest news and events going on in this region of Spain.
Her top goals are to do the best job she can informing the local English-speaking community, visitors to the area and the wider world about about the news in Almeria, to learn something new every day, and to embrace very new challenge this fast-changing world brings her way.
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