October 22, 2020

Exceltur estimates that quarantines threaten $ 8.7 billion in foreign tourism revenue


MADRID

Updated:

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The quarantine decreed by the British Government for those who return from Spain, along with those issued by the Netherlands and Norway in addition to the French recommendation not to travel to Aragon and Catalonia puts foreign tourism revenues for Spain at risk of 8.7 billion euros between August and September.

Speaking to Agencia Efe, Exceltur executive vice president, José Luis Zoreda, has criticized the British government for not warning Spain about the decision before, which has also been answered by businessmen from that country’s sector, such as easyjet and Jet2, which With their decision to maintain operations with Spain, they have launched a “clear challenge” to their government, reflecting their “absolute discrepancy” with the measure.

These quarantines “they can become the tip of a dying season”. With the 2019 figures, in the months of August and September, the income from British tourists totaled 4,572 million euros; the French, 2,300 million; Dutch, 935 million; Belgians, 612 million, and Norwegians, 283 million.

“That is what is at stake,” says Zoreda, for whom the news is “devastating, it could not be more dramatic”, especially for the Balearic Islands, the Costa Blanca (especially Benidorm), the Costa del Sol and the Canary Islands, according to Zoreda.

In the case of Andalusia -except for the Costa del Sol, highly dependent on British tourism- the impact will be somewhat less, because 55% of the demand in this community comes from the Andalusians themselves and they are having “reasonable” occupations (between 50 and 60%), on the coasts of Cádiz and Huelva although “with very considerable discounts”.

The decision of the Boris Johnson government, in addition to being “very hasty”, is not “grounded” because the United Kingdom is, in epidemiological terms, much worse than Spain, where, in addition, the figures for the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands are much lower.

In his opinion, the Spanish media “are not doing any favors”; in Spain “we are experts in crushing ourselves, in immolating ourselves” and the media are “encouraging” a reality that is perceived “alarmist” abroad. “What do we know about sprouts in Greece, Italy and France?” Asks Zoreda, who compares the little information available on these countries with the fact that here “we do nothing but talk about sprouts at certain levels. very micro. “

He has also criticized the regional “lack of coordination” in that the central government has transferred responsibility to the communities, especially in Catalonia, “which has been insubordinate to everything and are now the main contagious”. It also considers that the European Union has been unable to coordinate a “unanimous, uniform and acceptable” action plan, and all this is compounded by the “lack of citizenship” of the citizens.

“Based on objective criteria”

For its part, the Spanish Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Accommodations (CEHAT) has shown its surprise and disappointment in this regard and requests measures at the European level and the testing of origin and destination. With the surprise imposition of a British quarantine, there is a risk that other governments adopt similar solutions without much thought and without obeying the real situation that we have in Spain and especially in the peninsular tourist areas and the Balearic and Canary archipelagoes.

“We must ask that decisions be taken based on objective criteria for the evolution of health security and hold reckless measures accountable that can cause serious damage to tourism and, especially, to hoteliers, who are complying with the most demanding protocols of all Europe ”, says Jorge Marichal, President of CEHAT.

In line with this, the President of CEHAT thanks the Spanish Government for working so intensively to try to reverse the situation as soon as possible. A situation that for the Confederation is not only unfair but also totally illogical and not very rigorous.

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