British tourists will be able to reach the Costa Blanca without PCR from next week

Businessmen and experts foresee a strong rebound in tourism this summer if the good vaccination rate is maintained, but warn that full recovery may take four years

The Minister of Tourism, Reyes Maroto , announced this Wednesday, on the first day of the Madrid International Tourism Fair (Fitur), that starting next week, once it is published in the BOE, the lifting of restrictions regarding entry to Spain for UK travelers. The borders will be opened to all British and third country tourists , who will not have to present a negative PCR if they are vaccinated , or if the incidence of covid is below 60 cases per one hundred thousand inhabitants. The measure affects both British tourists residing in the province, who until now could come without problems but with PCR if they had a property, as well as conventional English tourists, those who stay in hotels, the large mass of missing visitors since August of last year. The businessmen present at the fair received the news with hope and satisfaction , although they remain cautious, since the most complicated thing is missing, which is for the United Kingdom Government to review the classification of Spain and declare it as “green” in a couple of weeks, which would eliminate the obligation of tourists to quarantine upon return. Selling the Costa Blanca as a safe destination is one of the most important messages in Fitur, as conveyed by the president of the Provincial Council, Carlos Mazón , at the head of the Costa Blanca delegation.

However, hoteliers do not trust completely and doubt the deadlines to be able to recover British tourism, despite the excellent data on the incidence of covid -45 cases per one hundred thousand inhabitants in the United Kingdom for the 25 in Benidorm or less than 30 in the Valencian Community– as the statements by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson do not hint at an immediate positive step forward. Despite the fact that the British Government itself is also receiving pressure from its tourism industry, both the local one, which has been receiving visitors for a year, and from tour operators, who move millions of tourists around the world, four million in the White shore. “At the fair there is optimism and there are signs of recovery but we must be very cautious because Boris Johnson can decide anything. From placing Spain in green, keeping it amber or freeing only the Canary and Balearic Islands. For those we insist that the restrictions should be territorialized. In the Valencian Community we have less incidence than in the United Kingdom», Underlines Nuria Montes, general secretary of the Hosbec hotel management association.

As for the Balearic Islands, yesterday President Francina Armengol reported that tourists with a dose of vaccine or arriving from an autonomy with an incidence of less than 60 cases will be able to travel to the islands without CRP, good news for the Alicante shipping company Baleària, which connects Dénia with the islands.

A long way

The Kings Don Felipe and Doña Letizia inaugurated a new edition of Fitur in which experts and businessmen reported that the good rate of vaccination and the decrease in the incidence of covid can make it possible for the resurgence of tourism to start strongly this summer. There is a great desire to travel and a captive demand, but also economic limitations due to the crisis derived from the covid.

Less optimistic was Manuel Butler, executive director of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), who warns that “the crisis has hit all countries hard, but especially the least developed.” In his opinion, “the recovery may take between 2 and 4 years” , so that ” the next three exercises will be key for the relaunch of tourism , but they will also constitute an opportunity to transform its relationship with the climate, the nature and the economy.

For his part, the president of the Provincial Council, Carlos Mazón, started the first day of Fitur with a battery of working meetings with sector associations and a clear message: the strategy is to attract national tourists in the short term, although without stop putting the focus of attention on attracting foreign travelers, through safe anticovid corridors. “We have to be aware at this point of where we can go in the short term and where we want to go in the long term. In the short term we want a recovery in our sector as soon as possible, that is why we come to Fitur ». Mazón encourages local tourists to finalize their trips to the province of Alicante this summer. «We want to remind the national market that we have all our facilities ready for the summer, our sector prepared, our communications in perfect condition. The Costa Blanca knows how to do it, as well as our hoteliers, our golf courses, our campsites, our sports and inland tourism and so on ».

British Tourists: Noisy, Cheap But A Must-Have

FJ Benito

On this opening day, the president also closed with Peter Walton, executive director of the Golf Tour Operators Association, an alliance to position the province as a preferred destination for this sport. The association will incorporate the associated golf courses of the province into its seal of quality. This is how Walton transferred it by videoconference to the president of the Provincial Council, the director of the Costa Blanca Board of Trustees, José Mancebo, and the secretary general of the Association of Golf Courses of the Costa Blanca, Ángel Llopes.

The Costa Blanca occupies a 205 m2 stand. All the security measures and covid protocols, established by IFEMA, have been extreme with strict capacity control measures at the stands, so many of the presentations are carried out digitally .

Except for the gastronomic days around “Alicante city of rice” in several Madrid restaurants, the restrictions due to the covid cause a decaffeinated fair with hardly any image. No brochures, no counters, no street entertainment.

Five thousand English tourists “challenge” Boris Johnson and return to the Costa Blanca

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