Blow to Spanish tourism: United Kingdom keeps Spain off the list of safe destinations

Spain is the favorite destination of British touristss. Before the pandemic, in 2019, more than 18 million Britons visited the country. With the incidence of covid on the decline and vaccination on the rise –both in Spain and the United Kingdom– the Spanish tourism sector I had hopes of entering the “green list” this week from countries where the British Government does not require travelers 10 days of isolation upon return.

However, it could not be. Spain remains on the amber list, where the British Government continues to discourage non-essential travel at the start of the summer season. And travel agencies They calculate that only in the month of June this decision implies losses of 382 million euros per week (more than 1,500 million euros throughout June).

As the situation is now, the sector has also calculated that it may lose millions of tourists between now and the end of the year.

The United Kingdom is the main source of foreign tourists to Spain, so the decision of the British Government makes it difficult to comply with the forecasts of the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, who hopes to end the year with half of the 2019 entries, that is to say, slightly more than 40 million foreigners’ income.

In the central summer months (June-September) of 2019, more than two million British tourists entered Spain each month. In 2020, in July, which was the best month, about 380,000 Britons arrived.

The data on the associated spending of these British tourists in a normal second semester is 12,185 million euros, with amounts between 2,000 and 2,500 million per month between June and September.

Spain, however, has open arms to the British

Aware of the relevance of British tourism, ESpain opened its borders to visitors from the United Kingdom at the end of May without the need for a PCR test. These weeks all the ministers, of course that of tourism, Reyes Maroto, but also that of Health, Carolina Darias, have publicly emphasized that Spain had its arms open to British tourism.

The president of the Air Lines Association (ALA), Javier Gándara, pointed out this Friday that the decision of the British Government not to include Spain or some regions in the list of green destinations is “completely incomprehensible”, taking into account the accumulated incidence data.

Thus, he has pointed out that there are regions, such as Balearic Islands, which have a “significantly” lower incidence than the United Kingdom, to which has been added the fact that to access the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands from the peninsula it is necessary to present a negative test or be vaccinated.

The president of ALA has added that this supposes a “setback for the sector”, that the recovery will be “slow”, but that it is necessary to “continue working” to reduce the incidence and that Spain or one of its regions can be included in the green list in the next review.

The next An update of the list by the British Government is expected on June 24, date on which this time, at least the Balearic and Canary Islands could enter the green list.

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