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Junta claims 'there are means' to promote safe tourism but criticises a lack of government 'will'

Tourists arriving at Malaga-Costa del Sol airport. File photograph.
Tourists arriving at Malaga-Costa del Sol airport. File photograph. / ÑITO SALAS
  • The Andalusian regional government has called on Madrid for "a coordinated plan" for the whole of the country as part of the coronavirus controlled mobility measures

The vice-president of the Junta de Andalucía and regional minister of tourism, Juan Marín, has said this Wednesday (24 February) that "there are more than enough means" thanks to technology to promote safe tourism in the coming months despite the pandemic, but believes that "political will" is lacking in the central government of Spain to promote these tools.

In an interview on Canal Sur Televisión, Marín has said that he has asked the national minister of tourism, Reyes Maroto, for "a coordination plan" for all the regions, to avoid the impossible situation of Andalucía deciding to lift its perimeter closure when neighbouring regions do not do so, leaving the region Andalucía “isolated.”

Marín also went on to say, "The reasonable thing is that all those immunised with two doses against Covid-19 - and have a certificate to prove it - can travel."

He pointed out that within the European Union "we are working on a health card or certificate" and "we really have that possibility of opening tourism."

He highlighted that holiday booking enquiries, especially from British tourists, "are skyrocketing". "They have grown more than 600 per cent in a single week to come to Andalucía for Easter and summer."

Marín advocated giving people "a guarantee" that allows them to travel, because "there are more than enough means" for that, including the technology that allows the possibility of having a QR code on a mobile phone that contains the "health history" of the person who carries it. He said an application like this could carry a certificate proving that the person is immunised, and argued that this "would be a great help" for a tourism sector in crisis.

The Andalusian vice-president added that the Junta does not have "much room for manoeuvre" to make decisions that favour tourism, for example with airports, since these are controlled by the national government of Spain.

"But I do not see a willingness on the part of the Government," Marín added. He said it is "a pity" because tourism is "an economic engine". He said that the Junta suggested "a rescue plan" for the sector but has received "a response of silence."