• Quote: ‘Reactivation of international tourism underway’ – Reyes Maroto, Spain’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism

By Andrew Atkinson

The Spanish Government have announced 5 million-plus international passengers visited during August 2021, an increase of 172% compared to August 2020 – with UK passengers three times higher.

Following the Covid-19 pandemic Spain’s Costa Blanca and Costa Calida were amongst businesses that were hit hard.

Spain remains to be on the holiday radar destination for thousands of Brits.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary stated last month that December will see a bumper increase for visitors to spend Christmas in Spain, as reported by The Leader.

After a recovery in visitors this summer, underlined by Spaniards annual August vacations, growth continued in September.

2022 could recover pre-pandemic levels following the easing of coronovirus restrictions this year, that lead to British tourists flocking back.

Spanish and expat businesses are welcoming British tourists with open arms on the Costa Blanca and Costa Calida along with Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia.

People flocked back to the beaches in the summer, with beach bars (chiringuitos) doing a thriving business.

In Guardamar and Torrevieja beaches were packed to the rafters – with queues forming to get a spot in the sunshine.

In Guardamar four poster sunbeds were in situ at Moncayo for hire at €40 a day, within touching distance of the Mediterranean shoreline, with chiringuitos doing a roaring trade.

Hotels and car-rental businesses were back-up-and- running – with extortionate fees for car hire, in some instances.

“We were quoted €900 for 10 days car hire,” Val Breerden told The Leader.

Spain’s struggles without British tourists appear to be over, with a plethora of businesses gaining back some of their lost financial income amid pre-flight COVID-19 testing, for those having been vaccinated since October.

Spain’s Association of Airlines (ALA) report approximately 1.9% additional domestic and international flights are scheduled for the November 2021-March 2022 period, compared to the same months in 2018-2019.

With the harsh cold weather having hit Britain it is expected to see many expats visit Spain for a winter holiday in warmer climes.

Retired homeowners in Spain and those who haven’t visited since the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020 are planning to return.

While sectors of Britain’s cities and towns continue to see thousands of daily positive cases of coronavirus, Spain’s high level of vaccination of approximately 80% of the population is another factor in seeing the return of travellers.

Spain does not require proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test to enter restaurants or bars, unlike Italy and France.

Reyes Maroto, Spain’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism said: “A reactivation of international tourism is underway.”