The Government resigns itself to the fact that its optimistic forecasts for this summer are not fully realized. The United Kingdom’s veto by keeping Spain on its list of countries not safe to travel threatens to hinder the pace of recovery of a key sector, in addition, for the evolution of the economy itself.
The Secretary of State for Tourism, Fernando Valdés, has assured this Saturday that, according to its forecasts, between the months of July and September Spain “will be receiving between 14.5 and 15.5 million tourists.”
These figures imply that only 40% of the tourists who arrived in 2019, the year before the pandemic, will be able to recover. Although from the Executive they defend that the data represents twice the number of tourists that Spain received in 2020, it seems logical considering the restrictions that were in force at that time as a result of the pandemic.
During an interview on Catalunya Radio, Valdés explained that this may change depending on some issues, such as Spain entering a green zone in the British system, since “there is a lot of demand for bagged British tourists who want to come”, so the forecasts “would increase.”
“We hope to end 2021 with at least 50% of the 2019 figures,” concluded the Secretary of State for Tourism.
A few weeks ago, during the presentation of the ‘covid passport’, the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, estimated that Spain would recover at the end of the year between 60% and 70% of international tourists that arrived in the country in 2019. A more ambitious goal than the 50% previously announced.
The good rate of vaccination and the launch of that EU Covid digital certificate, as well as the relaxation of restrictions, were behind this perspective. But the British veto now makes it difficult to achieve the objectives.
In this sense, the minister of the branch, Reyes Maroto, asked the British Government on Friday to consider Spain by territories to develop its ‘traffic light’ of safe countries. As he defended, there are already communities, such as the Valencian one, that would meet the UK’s requirements to the millimeter.
Keep in mind that British tourists account for one in every five who arrive in the country. In 2019, they visited Spain 18 million travelers from the UK, 21.6% of the total, which represented 19.4% of tourist spending by foreigners.