Spain welcomes vaccinated British tourists

by Deborah Cater
British tourists are welcomed back to Spain
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The UK has lifted travel restrictions to Spain for all fully vaccinated residents for at least the next three weeks. Good news for the tourism industry, which is largely dependent on British tourists.

This somewhat compensates for the travel restrictions imposed on Spain by other European countries. After the number of infections increased explosively in a short time, the Dutch authorities put the entire Spanish territory, including both island groups, on code orange. France, Belgium and Germany did the same, causing the tourism sector to deal with a wave of cancellations.

British tourists essential for Spain

In England, 67% of the population is now fully vaccinated. They can now travel to Spain without the need for quarantine on return. The Spanish hotel and aviation sector have already noticed an increase in the number of reservations. Since the lifting of the quarantine obligation, the number of booked flights from England to Spain has quadrupled. After the tourism industry was virtually at a standstill for 15 months, British tourists are essential for the current high season.

According to the Association of Hotel Entrepreneurs on the Costa del Sol (Aehcos), increased national tourism, along with the UK market, means that initially projected hotel occupancy levels for this month remain at 58%. This is despite many other countries adjusting their travel advice. That percentage was recently revised downwards by 9 percentage points, when England introduced a quarantine obligation for all residents returning from Spain.

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Andalucia tourism sector remains hopeful

Andalucian Vice President and Regional Minister of Tourism Juan Martín said last Friday the first two weeks of July had been “quite positive” for the tourism sector in the region. For the last two weeks of July, his expectation is even better, despite the increasing number of infections. According to Martín, this has not yet caused any problems in hospitals in Andalucia.

More flights to Málaga Airport

Airport manager Aena registered 1,138 flights at Málaga-Costa del Sol airport last weekend, of which 875 came from abroad. In the same weekend of 2020 there were only 715. In 2019 there were 1,523. The number of flights will increase significantly from Monday with the arrival of British tourists who fly to Spain with Ryanair and Easyjet.

At Málaga Airport, 30% of arriving passengers come from the United Kingdom. In the months of June, July and August 2019, before the pandemic, more than a million British tourists landed there.

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