UK Spanish Tourist Office ‘Sure Britons Will Return To Spain Again’

UK Spanish Tourist Office 'Sure Britons Will Return To Spain Again'. image: Pixabay

UK Spanish Tourist Office ‘Sure Britons Will Return To Spain Again’.

An online conference for the Spanish travel trade heard that British tourists will return to the country again soon. The head of Spain’s Tourist Office in the UK, Javier Piñanes, predicted that “with the right conditions, there could be a significant influx this summer as people will leave en masse. Notwithstanding the negative outlook, there are positive, hopeful signs.” He added: “People are keen to travel and are ready to do so as soon as they are able”.

The British market, which makes up around 30% of the of the arrivals at Malaga Airport, would have to backed up by safety guarantees, and this would be the key to recovery, said Piñanes who went on to explain that if the vaccinations in the UK carry on at their current rate then at least 40% would have received the jab by April.

He also issued a warning that if “Spain and its resorts didn’t keep up with control of the pandemic, recovery will be difficult”. The webinar attendees heard that the UK provided 18 million visitors to Spain in 2019 with a spend of 18 billion euros, but that figure dropped by a massive 82 per cent in 2020.

Tourism minister Reyes Montoro, launched a message of hope, saying that now vaccines were being given out confidence would soon be restored, but she added that countries would have to agree on common travel criteria and corridors for it to have effect.

Speaking from the Spanish Tourist Office in the Netherlands, its director Ignacio Valle said that the economy in that country hadn’t been hit too hard and “the Dutch still have the money that they didn’t spend in 2020”.

The UK government aims to offer vaccines to 15 million people – those aged 70 and over, healthcare workers and people required to shield – by mid-February and millions more people aged 50 and over and other priority groups by spring.

The Spanish government have similar aims, but, due to the recent bad weather at the main delivery point for the vaccine, Madrid’s Barajas Airport, and the production problems at the Pfizer production plant in Belgian, the country is a few weeks behind schedule. 

However, with the added optimism of the new Johnson & Johnson ‘one jab defeats all’ vaccine a return to tourism in Spain by the Spring is not altogether impossible.

 


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Tony Winterburn

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