Fernando Valdés paid a whirlwind visit to Malaga. / Ñito salas

Costa del Sol 'will be one of the first destinations in Spain to recover British tourists'

On a visit to Malaga, the Secretary of State for Tourism said 'we are already seeing how large operators like Jet2.com and airlines such as easyJet are increasing their operations'

Pilar Martínez
PILAR MARTÍNEZ

Spain’s Secretary of State for Tourism, Fernando Valdés, has just completed a whirlwind trip to the Costa del Sol, where he visited Marbella, Vélez-Malaga, the Sierra de las Nieves and Estepona to see at first-hand the projects which will benefit from the first allocation of the EU’s Next Generation funds. These four initiatives will be receiving over 16.8 million euros to improve the facilities for sustainable tourism.

In an interview with SUR, Valdés explained that major tour operators and airlines are now increasing their capacity again and he is convinced that 2022 will be the year of recovery and that the Costa del Sol will be one of the first areas to which British visitors return.

“There is a pent-up demand in the UK which is going to activate very quickly. We are already seeing how large operators like Jet2.com and airlines such as easyJet are increasing their operations with Spain, and we predict that the Costa del Sol will be one of the first destinations to benefit from this increase in British tourism. The new campaign which is being carried out in the UK by Turespaña will also help with that,” he explained.

Valdés does not believe the inflation rate and high energy prices will have a negative effect on tourism. “I hope not,” he said, “all the efforts of all the administrations and the financial assistance during these two years of the pandemic, which has amounted to 52 billion euros, have been aimed at ensuring that the tourism sector can be fully active again as soon as things improved. Thanks to the furloughs we have not lost our workforce, and that is essential. The idea has always been that nothing should compromise the recovery of the tourism sector”.