Spain coronavirus travel update – hotel bosses worry they might not open again until 2021 – The Sun04/09/2020
Tourism leaders across Spain are pleading with the government to start urgent special measures now – as holiday hotspots warn they won't recover from the impact of the coronavirus crisis until at least 2021, or ever in many cases.
There is huge concern in both the Canary Islands and the Balearics, which include Ibiza and Mallorca, that this year will be wiped out completely.
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Hotels have closed completely and even domestic travel is severely restricted under the State of Emergency rules, with no indication yet as to when bookings can restart.
Tenerife and the rest of the Canaries, including Lanzarote and Gran Canaria, could end the year with just five million tourists, a massive 70 per cent down on the usual 16 million.
The worries are being shared by hotel chiefs in Benidorm, the Costa Blanca and Valencia, where 60 proposals for urgent action have been drafted.
They say the money-spinning power of tourism in Spain should not be under-estimated but warn the coronavirus epidemic will wipe out thousands of holiday-related businesses who have only just got slightly back on their feet following a string of other setbacks.
These include the economic crisis, competition resurging markets like Turkey and Egypt, the collapse of Thomas Cook and the devaluation of the euro.
The Canary Islands are particularly concerned as the busiest season is in the winter and spring, both now wiped out, whilst the summer, despite the heat, is the low period and by tradition doesn't attract the biggest number of tourists.
President Ángel VíctorTorres says at best, the season might begin again in September but he is fearful that it won't be until 2021 when some sort of normality returns.
He says hotels have been told to close for three months but they won't be able to open or take bookings until they have sufficient clients and that all depends on flights, what happens in the UK with coronavirus, consumer confidence and finance.
The Canary Government is therefore demanding an extraordinary shock plan for the tourist recovery of the archipelago.
Tourism in the Canaries brings in 35 per cent of the gross domestic product, representing a total of €16,500 million a year. At the moment, however, tourism is virtually zero.
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