surinenglish

UK Spanish Tourist Office is sure Britons will flock to Spain again

A sight not seen for a while - file photo of a busy arrivals day at Malaga Airport.
A sight not seen for a while - file photo of a busy arrivals day at Malaga Airport. / SALVADOR SALAS
  • At an online event, Tourism minister Reyes Montoro said vaccination will speed global recovery but countries needed to agree travel corridors

The head of Spain's Tourist Office in the UK has told an online conference for the Spanish travel trade that he is confident that British tourists will return to the country again soon.

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.

Piñanes said that Britain is a hardy country and "people are keen to travel and are ready to do so as soon as they are able".

Safety

However he highlighted that safety guarantees would be key to the recovery of the British market, which makes up almost 30 per cent of the arrivals at Malaga Airport.

The London-based official explained that he hoped by April that 40 per cent of the UK population would be vaccinated and issued a warning that if "Spain and its resorts didn't keep up with control of the pandemic, recovery will be difficult".

He reminded online attendees that the UK provided 18 million visitors to Spain in 2019 with a spend of 18 billion euros, but that this dropped 82 per cent in 2020.

Brexit

In terms of Brexit, Piñanes was clear that "the pandemic has swallowed Brexit whole. We needn't worry as this summer there won't be great changes".

The virtual conference was run by Turespaña, the government tourism agency and entitled Reset and Restart. Also speaking were Reyes Montoro, Tourism minister, and the directors of various Spanish Tourist Offices around Europe.

Montoro launched a message of hope, saying that now vaccines were being given out confidence would soon be restored, but she added that countries needed to agree common travel criteria and corridors.

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".

Meanwhile, Rubén López, office director in Dublin, highlighted the positive reaction to the Andalucía region's special Covid-19 free tourist insurance plan.