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Spain’s tourism sector fears wave of cancellations by foreign visitors

Here's an interesting article about the quickly changing picture of international tourism in Europe this Summer:

Spain’s tourism sector is watching anxiously as coronavirus cases spike again across the country, leading to fears of mass summer cancellations among foreign visitors. The Financial Times on Wednesday ran an article headlined “Delta variant drives Spain’s Covid-19 rate to highest in mainland Europe,” and some regional governments have reintroduced restrictions while others are considering it.

“It’s dramatic, it’s the worse thing that could happen to us. The image that’s being projected is of great concern. It seems only a matter of time before a return to restrictive measures,” said José Luis Zoreda, vice-president of Exceltur, an industry group representing 33 major travel companies.

On Thursday morning, France’s secretary of state for European affairs, Clément Beaune, made the following recommendation to French nationals on the television network France 2: “To those of you who have not yet booked your vacations, avoid Spain and Portugal as destinations.”

Expectations also vary by regions. In Catalonia, uncontrolled coronavirus transmission has dampened the tourism industry’s summer plans. “We need to convey positive messages to the outside world,” said Santiago García-Nieto, president of the Confederation of Hospitality Businesses and Restaurateurs of Catalonia (ConfeCat). Industry leaders already figure that the month of July is not going to be as good as expected, and are now focusing on saving August and September.

One can read more here: https://english.elpais.com/economy-and-business/2021-07-08/spains-tourism-sector-fears-wave-of-cancellations-by-foreign-visitors.html

Posted by
6727 posts

On Thursday morning, France’s secretary of state for European affairs, Clément Beaune, made the following recommendation to French nationals on the television network France 2: “To those of you who have not yet booked your vacations, avoid Spain and Portugal as destinations.”

Yes, this has created quite a bit of a stir. Later in the day, the Spanish ambassador to France appeared on one of the leading news channels to say that Spain continues to welcome French visitors . . . .

I couldn’t believe that the EUROPE minister (Beaune) said that . . . Either he is WAY out ahead of the government, or they are really talking about restricting travel. There is a French Health Defense Council meeting, we are all wondering what will come out of there.

Posted by
325 posts

This is deeply concerning for those who have made plans. Is anyone else thinking of canceling? I am planning to go to Balearic Islands in October.

Posted by
4886 posts

I am due to go to Fuerteventura in mid October for a month, deferred from January to use our EasyJet credit note. We think the chances of this happening are less than 50% due to infection rates rising rapidly there and in the U.K., but it’s still some time off yet. We won’t go if the government guidance is not to travel or if we have to quarantine upon returning.

We always knew it was very uncertain and it’s no surprise that rates are rising, unfortunately. As restrictions are lifted after lockdown, there is only one way for infection rates to head.

Posted by
7948 posts

Carlos, should I come to Spain in Sept. or not? Planning a Camino walk from Pamplona and am fully vaccinated. Wavering back and forth about this. Would be coming in from Frankfurt, not the US. Kind of concerned about things being open or not.

Posted by
2279 posts

Hi Ms. Jo, of course it's a personal decision, but if it were my holiday and I wanted to walk the Camino de Santiago, I would want more stability in order to enjoy the trip, considering one will be traveling through a number of different regions/municipalities with the potential for a confusing patchwork of covid restrictions, as is the case in Catalonia and Valencia regions now. My inclination would be to hold off on those more complex trips, like the Camino de Santiago, until 2022.

For 2021, travel may still be possible, but my inclination would be to stay in one or two cities tops, with day trips only around the local area.

Posted by
3012 posts

Your advice to Ms. Jo seems reasonable Carlos.

"...my inclination would be to stay in one or two cities tops, with day trips only around the local area."

For 26 nights we have planned for Madrid and 3 destinations in the Basque region and 3 in Andalucía. If you had to decide today, would you chose northern cities, southern cities or somewhere else? I'll be monitoring virus numbers and vaccination rates in these areas.

If we do travel in the fall, perhaps we should consider non-beach, less well-traveled areas?

I understand that there is no clear answer and things could change...

Thank you!

Posted by
2279 posts

Hey Sharon, my personal opinion, based on the current trajectory of things, I would probably go with Andalucía or even neighboring Extremadura if traveling in the Autumn. So far they have been pretty good with maintaining low case numbers throughout the pandemic.

Catalonia, the Madrid Community, Valencia, Balearic Islands, Aragon and the Pais Vasco have always been problem spots with new outbreaks. Just today, Cantabria, neighboring region to the Pais Vasco announced a new nightly curfew. Though I think most of Spain and even Europe will probably be on the same boat in a few weeks so it's hard to tell.

If wanting to monitor infection data for Spain, you can look at this live map, it's in Spanish, but I think you can understand the data/graphs anyway, if you scroll down you can see data by region:
https://elpais.com/sociedad/2021-03-15/el-coronavirus-en-espana-dia-a-dia-asi-evolucionan-casos-ingresos-y-muertos.html?rel=friso-portada

Posted by
298 posts

@Ms Jo, I would say go for it.

Carlos has mentioned several communities where the rates are very high: Catalonia, Madrid, Valencia, Balearic Islands, Aragon, and the Pais Vasco. Of course the Camino from Pamplona doesn't pass through any of those.

Here in Logroño, there have been several local news reports about the immaculate conditions in the local pensiones and albergues of La Rioja. Also I've been working in Los Arcos and Estella and the albergues there are also maintaining very high conditions.

When you couple that with the low number of pilgrims on the Camino right now it is probably the safest time to travel.

This is just an observation, but pilgrims tend to leave early and go to bed early. The youth here, in La Rioja at least, who are going out and partying in the parks get up late and go to bed late, so you should never cross with them.

Posted by
3012 posts

Thank you for the suggestions Carlos and also for the link to the data!

Posted by
3012 posts

Thank you Ashley for your detailed information - your experience in Andalusia is certainly something that we would want to avoid. I appreciate your suggestion that we reconsider it.

Posted by
26071 posts

regarding the cancellations, 2 weeks ago the UK put the Balearic Islands of Menorca, Majorca and Ibiza on the UK Green List. Yesterday they took it back and from Monday they will be on the Amber list which calls for quarantine in the UK upon return of not double vaccinated. Since mostly relatively you folks go there some are single, some are none, only a few double because they are not yet eligible - not enough time since a first jab.

You bet the cancellation lines are red hot.... Sorry, Carlos