Tourism in Spain expects a wave of cancellations from foreigners this summer. The prognosis for the colour codes does not look rosy. Nevertheless, experts believe the current covid figures should be interpreted differently by Europe.
It is not only Spain dealing with rapidly rising covid figures. Other countries are also seeing the number of infections increasing quickly. Every week, countries and the European health service ECDC update the travel advice and colour codes.
The Netherlands uses current colour codes for Spain
The Netherlands will stick to code orange for mainland Spain and yellow for the Spanish islands. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced it is closely monitoring the situation in the Balearics and the Canary Islands to see whether code yellow remains justified.
Colour code for Netherlands and Belgium also important
The colour code the ECDC gives to the Netherlands and Belgium also determines travel options. Minister De Jonge of Health in the Netherlands announced on Wednesday evening the Netherlands is currently turning yellow and green. However, this may change to red within a week. This means Dutch travellers may have to quarantine when they arrive in the country of destination.
Spain fears millions of cancellations
With these developments, tourism is once again at stake for Spain. So wrote the Spanish newspaper El País on Thursday morning. The fifth corona wave threatens to hinder the arrival of some 17 million foreign tourists before this summer.
Exceltur president José Luis Zoreda already sees a slowdown in the number of bookings for Spain. “At the moment there are not many cancellations, but as soon as governments come up with additional measures, it will only be a matter of time.”
Experts want a different interpretation of covid figures
Although the number of infections is indeed increasing at a rapid pace, the tourism sector hopes governments and the European health service will put the numbers in perspective. There are indeed more infections, but the low death rate and the lower pressure on care – partly due to vaccination – mean there may be more possibilities when travelling than last summer.
European authorities use the cumulative incidence, the number of cases per 100,000 inhabitants over the past 14 days. Spain passed the 250 cases per 100,000 population mark on Wednesday. However, according to experts and the tourism sector, this is not fair since the infections now mainly occur among young people. Furthermore, the most vulnerable target groups have already been vaccinated. According to them, a new interpretation of the figures is necessary before imposing restrictions that could be fatal for countries living off tourism.