Urgent cry for help from Spanish travel agents

by Deborah Cater
Travel agents ask for help
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The survival of travel agents in Spain is in doubt. Due to the restrictions, travel agencies have been obsolete for a year. The travel industry urgently demands support from the Spanish government before all travel agencies fail.

The Spanish news channel RTVE spoke on Friday, during an interview with chairman Gutiérrez of the employers’ association of travel agencies (FEATAV), about the complicated situation in Spain. Spanish travellers, like the travel agents, wonder when it will be possible to travel freely again. The Spanish government cannot offer concrete future prospects. Gutiérrez, therefore, asks whether the government of Spain will act as guarantor so travel agencies survive this crisis. Previously, a bailout proposal for the travel industry was rejected by the government.

Spaniards watch as foreigners spend their holidays in Spain

During Semana Santa there are perimeter closures of the regions while the external borders of Spain are open and foreign tourists can travel to Spain. Spaniards are desperate to travel again. Therefore, it is a bitter pill for Spaniards staying at home while foreign tourists walking in their city or seaside resort.

Spanish travel agents have been obsolete for a year

A holiday abroad still seems a long way off for Spaniards. Moreover, if Spaniardscan only travel within their own region, they do not use a travel agency. Travel agents are only important when it concerns a holiday abroad or an organised trip to another part of Spain.

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And that is exactly what is currently prohibited. Gutiérrez indicates the majority of travel agencies in Spain have been unable to do anything for a year. As a result, many Spanish travel agencies have collapsed and the remaining agencies are on the verge of bankruptcy.

The Spanish government must ensure that travel agencies still exist

At the moment, the employers’ organisation is focusing all its attention on the summer of 2021. Now that vaccination in Spain continues to progress and Spain appears to be meeting its summer vaccination targets, the possibilities of being able to travel again seem to be getting closer.

What Gutiérrez is keen to achieve is that when international travel is possible again, travel agents are around to offer customers their long-awaited holidays.

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