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Sun may shine on summer tourism

Jack Troughton | February 9, 2021

SPAIN’S secretary of state for tourism says the government was maximising efforts to ensure a ‘decent’ summer for the vital sector.

Fernando Valdes hopes the country will recover from a health and tourist point of view with a “gradual recovery” by the summer season – pain took a huge hit in 2020, the its national institute of statistics saying the holiday industry took a 70% hit.

There have been mixed messages from Madrid. Tourism minister Maria Reyes claimed the country could begin to open its borders in the spring – contradicting the view of prime minister Pedro Sanchez, who want 70% of the population vaccinated against Covid-19 first…something he does not forecast happening before the end of summer.

Valdes was more optimistic: “We’re putting all our efforts into making sure we have a decent summer from a health and tourist point of view; by summer we want to see a gradual recovery of international tourism beginning with our European neighbours.”

He added: “Spain as a lot to offer in terms of diversity and heritage and we need to develop our range of tourism products as a complement to our sun and sand product – but it is a champion in the sun and sand tourism model and aims to continue being so, and this government is going to continue to support it.”

Spain is about to enter phase 2 of its vaccination rollout after protecting residential homes, frontline workers, and vulnerable people.

The country is one of eight European Union countries with the highest Covid-19 vaccination rates ad ahead of France and Germany. Valdes confirmed: “We still aim to have at least 70% of the adult Spanish population vaccinated by summer.”