Spain plans to accomplish its goal and to welcome nearly 45 million international tourists until the end of this year, the country’s government has said.
According to the Southwestern European country’s authorities, such figures can be reached despite the travel restrictions and other bans imposed on Britons – its main market – due to the rapid spread of the Delta variant, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Spanish Tourism Minister, Maria Reyes Maroto, said that she hopes the country is still able to recover half of their international tourism this year, as according to her, “it’s a prudent goal”.
“We expect around 17 million international tourists during the summer, and many will be British because it is a market that is very faithful to Spain,” the Minister pointed out.
Previously, the Minister said that the world’s second most popular destination after France expects to draw 45 million international visitors during this year, or more than half compared to 83.5 million visitors who entered Spain in 2019.
Between January and May, a total of 3.2 million international travellers, of them about 130,000 Britons, visited Spain, according to the recent official figures.
The United Kingdom permitted international travel to resume in May after remaining temporarily frozen due to the COVID-19 situation. However, Spain does not belong to the UK’s green list, which includes countries considered safe, based on their epidemiological situation.
All travellers from the United Kingdom interested to visit Spain are obliged to stay self-isolated for ten days and take two COVID-19 tests when returning from Spain to Britain.
However, the decrease in the number of infections in Spain’s Balearic archipelago, which includes Mallorca and Ibiza, has led the authorities in Britain to exempt these territories from their list that includes regions highly affected by the virus; therefore, travellers from these territories do not have to follow testing and quarantine rules when returning to the UK from Spain.
The Southwestern European welcomed a total of 18 million Britons in 2019, including 3.7 million who visited the Balearics.
In May, Spain’s government announced that it exempted Britons from test requirements in an effort to boost the country’s tourism sector.
However, last month, Spain’s government reversed the policy and now demands a negative COVID-19 test result of proof of vaccination for all travellers from the United Kingdom.
Amid the raised concerns over the Delta variant of the Coronavirus, which has profoundly affected the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal and Malta tightened their travel rules for all travellers from Britain who plan to visit these countries any time soon.
The global tourism industry, among other sectors, have been devastated by the Coronavirus situation. According to a recent annual Economic Trends Report conducted by the World Travel and Tourism (WTTC), European Travel and Tourism industry suffered the most significant economic collapse last year, after the Asia-Pacific.
According to the figures published by the World Health Organization, Spain has registered a total of 3,866,475 cases of Coronavirus infection.
The same source shows that the virus has led more than 80,900 people to death in Spain.