Although there have been brief periods where tourists have been welcomed with open arms in Spain during 2020, this year has seen the lowest level of tourism in Spain for many decades. But that is all due to change in 2021, with Spain planning to welcome back tourists without restrictions from March. It’s an ambitious plan, but one that will provide welcome relief for the Spanish economy, which relies on tourism for its continued boyancy. Here’s everything you need to know:
Changes to the Current Process
At present, with COVID-19 still prevalent in Spain, Europe, and much of the world, any foreign national hoping to enter Spain must present a negative Covid-19 test taken less than 72 hours before travelling, in order to be permitted into the country. As you can imagine, this is a strong deterrent to tourism. However the Spanish national tourism agency, Turespaña, has announced a new plan that will change all of this by spring 2021: a new ‘travel safe’ campaign was announced on December 3rd by the Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism Reyes Maroto and the Director General of the national tourism board Turespaña, Miguel Sanz, which they hope will remove the need for tourists to take a COVID test before they arrive in the country, and build their trust and confidence in returning to the country. The first steps in making this plan a success start now.
A Promising New Campaign
In a Statement to the International Travel and Health Journal, Mr Maroto, the Minister for Trade and Tourism, said: “With this campaign, we want to position the Spain tourism brand as an influencer in the security of journeys and to contribute to generating confidence among tourists to come to our country again,”
The campaign is forecast to cost around €2million and it will run for as long as there are coronavirus prevention measures in place, enabling tourists to understand the restrictions they will be subjected to, and helping them to feel comfortable with these before they arrive in the country. The campaign will include a new section on the spain.info website where local restrictions will be clearly outlined, and the website will also feature an easy to navigate, interactive map where you can simply hover over the area of Spain you’d like to visit and the restrictions in place will pop up!
Whilst the campaign is being implemented nationwide, the Balearics Island tourism minister Iago Negueruela has been particularly vocal in his support of the scheme, saying that safe tourism should start “from the end of March.” Promotional campaigns and advertising schemes are already underway to promote the Balearics as a safe tourism destination, and it is expected that other parts of Spain will follow with similar campaigns in quick succession.
Of course, the COVID situation in Spain does need to stabilize further before the country can legitimately be declared a safe tourism destination, but it is a much-needed vote of confidence for businesses that rely on tourism to make ends meet that we can expect to see tourists back in the country by March. This safety campaign is a great first steps: by making tourists feel safe, and building their trust, they will be quick to return to the country and enjoy their holidays in the sun.
The Impact of the Vaccination Programme
The announcement of several viable coronavirus vaccines, and the start of a vaccination programme in the UK, means that the tourism industry has already seen a boost. According to ABTA (The Travel Association in the UK), bookings by British tourists to Spain jumped by 30 percent, just after the UK government announced the approval of the Pfizer/BioNTechvaccine last week. Many British holiday companies, including Jet2 and Thomas Cook, are already advertising and selling summer 2021 package holidays to Spain, and are reporting that the sales figures are positive.
As the vaccine becomes more widely available, both across Europe and globally, the prognosis for Spanish tourism will only get better: it’s important to remember that the desire for Spanish holidays has not decreased, just the ability to take them!
Are you thinking of moving to Spain and turning your life into one long holiday? Or perhaps you just want a holiday home of your own for long and lazy vacations? Whatever you’re looking for, our locally based property experts can help. With years of experience, they’re perfectly placed to help you turn your dream of Spanish home ownership into a reality, so why not get in touch today.