Updated on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 – 01:38
With 76% of the Spanish population and 66% of the British population vaccinated, the tourist flow between both countries begins to regain its usual state.
The end of the summer has been marked by the return of one of its most prominent protagonists: the British tourist. After a summer of regulatory swings, reservation cancellations and quarantine hotels, more than 821,000 Britons have landed at Spanish airports last August, according to data from the Secretary of State for Tourism. 212% more than in 2020.
The favorite destination to disembark have remained Balearic Islands, where most Britons arrived during the Augs (and Joules and Junes) leading up to the pandemic. In 2019 all of them disbursed 2,510 million euros during the month of August. An investment that disappeared with the reduction of flights to Spain this summer.
Today, with a 76% of the Spanish population and 66% of the British vaccinated With the complete pattern, the tourist flow between the two countries has recovered its usual state, in a generalized trend of growth in international tourism. The arrival of foreign passengers at Spanish airports has increased by 172% compared to last year, with a total of 5 million tourists.
From the Tourism Board, however, they modulate the euphoria. “Those percentages do not tell us anything. Comparing the data with last year, when we were confined, is confusing. Because everything we compare with that moment is going to be an increase”, clarifies Carlos Abelln, secretary general of the tourism employer.
Indeed, a more global view of the data shows that the accumulated number of foreign tourists arriving at Spanish airports during this year is still lower than in 2020. That is, Between January and August of this year, 10% fewer passengers have arrived than they did in the year of the arrival of the pandemic, when most of Europe was shut down tight.
Despite the slow recovery, the return of the English tourists to the first place of the podium, gives signs of the return to pre-pandemic tourism patterns. Thus, if the English market represents a 16.4% of tourists arrived in Spain in August, the arrivals of germans, which represent the 16% of the total of tourists arrived at Spanish airports in August. Behind them, the french (a 10%), italians (9.8%), dutch (7.4%) and swiss (4.4%). Three out of ten landed in the Balearic Islands, specifically at the Palma de Mallorca airport.
From the Ministry of Tourism they value this data very positively. “The trend of gradual recovery of international travelers that began last March is consolidated,” he said. Reyes Maroto, holder of this ministry. In addition, he stressed that “Spain is open to residents of the United Kingdom vaccinated with a full schedule or traveling with negative PCR” and applauded the decision of the British government to “make its regulations for travel more flexible as of October 4.”
But the road here has not been easy. At the beginning of the year, the United Kingdom designed the traffic light with which it classified countries in a green, amber or red list depending on their epidemiological situation. Since May, Spain remained within the amber list, which meant that tourists visiting our country would have to quarantine after returning from vacation. In mid-July, Boris Johnson, English Prime Minister, annulled the norm for those citizens who had the complete guideline. Only the Balearic Islands managed to get off the amber list for three weeks in July, until the arrival of a fifth wave of the pandemic returned it to its original place.
Now, the possibility that this restrictive system will come to an end increases faith in the recovery of the sector. “We see the future with optimism. British citizens are looking forward to traveling again,” acknowledges Abelln.
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