British holidaymakers will NOT be returning to Spain this summer, Costa tourism chiefs say
COSTA tourism leaders said they were “pessimistic” about the return of British holidaymakers to Spain before September.
PC Agency travel expert Paul Charles warned last week that vacations to Europe or the United States likely won’t return until August.
But the president of the Hotels Association of the Province of Alicante, Victoria Puche, admitted overnight that she now envisions the end of summer and autumn as the starting point for the arrival of package holidaymakers.
She told the Costa Blanca-based Diario Informacion: “It is possible that some British tourists will arrive on Ryanair or easyJet flights, but it would be normal if there is nothing by September.
Nuria Montes, Secretary General of the Costa Blanca and the Benidorm Hosbec Hotel Association, added: “Summer will be a time of transition and our goal must be to get Covid under control for September, as another low season without tourists would be terrible.”
The summer ‘surrender’ came as the Mallorca hotel federation FEHM admitted that the UK government’s four-week easing deadline had left members ‘devastated’ over the effect it would have on the inclusion of Spain on the British government’s green list.
FEHM Vice-President Maria Jose Aguilo said it would complicate the summer and create problems for a tourism sector that relies heavily on British tourists.
She also insisted in an interview with the local press that Boris Johnson’s decision to keep the Balearic Islands off the UK’s green list was due to “geopolitical reasons more than health”.
Spain is expected to remain amber during the next UK traffic light review, although Britain’s Ambassador to Spain Hugh Elliott has said the UK will study the Balearic Islands “in principle” and the Canary Islands separately from the mainland.
The next update is expected to take place on June 24.
The head of the Valencian Hotel Association (HOSBEC), Toni Mayor, said he did not expect British tourism to return until August after meeting with UK Ambassador Hugh Elliott.
He told the Telegraph: “Overall infection levels in Spain are still high in places and the picture is uneven, so I think we’ll have to wait, maybe until July 20.”
However, he added that resorts would need at least two weeks to prepare for tourist arrivals and capacity levels.
Portugal is the only major European holiday destination to be on the green list so far, although it was removed earlier this month after just three weeks.
The controversial move has led thousands of Britons to cancel planned breaks in the Algarve or cut their vacations short and shell out hundreds of pounds on new flights to return earlier and avoid quarantine.
Airlines are already canceling flights and vacations ahead of the summer season after Boris Johnson delayed the UK lifting of all Covid restrictions until July.
TUI has canceled the majority of its holidays in Spain, Greece and Italy until July 11, although this is likely to be extended.
Jet2 canceled all flights and holidays until July 1 while OnTheBeach canceled all holidays and stopped all sales until August.