Bosses at Turismo Comunidad Valenciana, the body that manages the region’s tourism policy, said they hope to welcome foreign visitors from October. Spain is the UK’s most popular holiday destination and welcomes 20 million Britons a year.
We have to guarantee, when international tourism opens, that the person who comes to Spain is a safe person
But it has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and the Valencia region alone is expected to lose billions of euros in tourist spending due to the closure of borders.
According to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Spain generates 14.3 percent of its GDP from tourism — the highest amount in Europe.
Close to 84 million people visited Spain last year, with most tourists visiting between April and September.
Officials acknowledge the final say may have to come from Brussels which is being urged to impose “homogeneous measures at the European level” to be taken in all member states to restart travel and tourism in a safe way as coronavirus lockdowns are eased.
Turismo Comunidad Valenciana chiefs have proposed a three-phase action plan to get the industry back in its feet.
The first will see “social networks taken into consideration” and the main markets be monitored.
The second period will see a “safe, varied destination and with a varied offer” promoted.
Finally, “with the resumption of face-to-face actions and the effective possibility of travelling”, publicity campaigns will be stepped up “with the aim of repositioning Valencia in those markets”.
Officials say they are optimistic and believe “humans are creatures of habit” who will go back to their favourite holiday destinations.
A spokesman said: “The memory of tourists for the region has increased and we believe the high degree of loyalty that visitors had with Valencia will continue after the crisis is over.”
Spanish tourism minister Reyes Maroto said: “We have to guarantee, when international tourism opens, that the person who comes to Spain is a safe person.
“The issue of borders will be accompanied by the evolution of the health crisis.
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“Therefore, I do not have the solution of when they will be able to open.
“On how you will be able to enjoy our beaches, we are defining different scenarios.
“It is very important that the sanitary recommendations are maintained, we are going to have to internalise what we are already doing now, hand washing, social distancing even on the beaches.
“Those patterns will be in our day to day for a time, you cannot take a step back.”
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