While Spanish regions are under a perimetral lockdown in a bid to curb the Covid-19 virus spreading, the country is open to European travellers. German tourists in particular are heading to Mallorca.
Spain is trying to balance conflicting goals: restrict national travel in order to protect the summer tourist season and revive the country’s economy now.
Regional perimeter lockdowns, designed to reduce contagion, are in place during the Easter holidays. However, while restrictions are in place for domestic tourism, visitors from Europe can visit freely. Combined with Germany removing some Spanish regions, including the Balearic Islands, from its risk areas there is a chance many German tourists will be enjoying the Easter break, whilst Spaniards remain at home.
Conflict for German tourists?
The conflict for many Germans is between holidaying in the sun or following the advice of their health authorities against non-essential travel. The pull for a beer in the sun may prove too great for some, especially as bars and restaurants have been closed in Germany for over four months now.
It looks as though the desire to holiday is winning, with a spike in demand for holidays on the Balearics. “We have had a boom in bookings for the Easter holidays,” said Thomas Daubenbüchel, the spokesperson of the travel company Alltours, as reported in El País. Alltours organised 20 chartered flights from Düsseldorf, the day after Germany removed the islands from the risk list. Two days later, the flights were sold out.
TUI and Ryanair experiencing high demand
Travel giant TUI also experienced high demand when it began offering flights and accommodation in the Balearic Islands on Sunday. “The first available dates are all taken,” said a TUI spokesperson. In the next few weeks, TUI expects to offer more than 300 return flights to the Balearic Islands.
Ryanair also added 200 flights between Germany and Spain over the Easter break. Lufthansa’s low-cost carrier Eurowings also has a schedule of another 300 flights.
The tourism sector is cautious over Easter holidays
Whilst the tourism industry needs a boost, it doesn’t want the Easter holidays to ruin the more profitable summer season. José Luis Zoreda, the vice-president of the tourism lobby Exceltur told El País, “We don’t want to waste all our efforts on five days and lose the summer season”. He also doesn’t believe the German influx will have that much of an impact, “It’s risen from nearly zero, but it won’t be significant, nor will it save Easter,” he added.