“In the light of an extraordinary situation, extraordinary measures must be taken,” said the Hosbec hotel association. They have asked the Spanish government to postpone Holy Week until the end of April.
This way the sector has ‘more margin’ to achieve a ‘zero level’ of contamination to ‘enable the opening of hotels’. Every year at Easter – under normal circumstances – 3million Spaniards travel to the Valencian Community.
Hotel owners wanted customers to travel freely
Hotel owners requested the President of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig, allow customers with reservations to travel freely into the region. This would be regardless of whether perimeter closures will be in place or not. However, the Consell could not agree to this.
Puig is currently working with other autonomous communities in Spain to prevent as many movements as possible from other regions. For example, holiday makers from Madrid and other areas towards the Valencian coast. Toni Mayor of Hosbec believes that normalcy should not be feared. According to him, the current contamination figures indicate that hotels can open in a few weeks. Therefore, on behalf of the industry he represents, he believes that the government should take extraordinary measures. Because a relatively normal Easter holiday could greatly help the industry.
Basic hygiene measures
If the virus incidence is zero, it doesn’t matter whether someone is in Valencia or Madrid, says the Hosbec chairman. ‘If we give more margin, we can achieve some mobility. Furthermore, we will always use the basic hygiene measures. Including face masks, mutual distancing and limiting the number of people allowed to come together. ‘
Contrary to last summer, the hotels want to deploy an ‘army of virus trackers’ to’ control and stop potential outbreaks.
Worst crisis in history
Valencian tourism and in particular Alicante are going through the worst crisis in their history due to corona measures and mobility restrictions. Only the UK de-escalation plan and the ability to travel from the UK from May 17 have encouraged summer bookings. Until then however, the slow vaccination rate prevents some degree of normalcy from being achieved.
Last year, the Valencia region lost more than €7.2billion in tourism expenditure. Likewise, the province of Alicante was sixth in Spain where GDP fell the most, at -13.5%, four points above Valencia.