After previously setting July 1 as the date to reopen for international tourism, which comprises 12 percent of its output, Spain is at work on plans to slowly allow tourists from nations determined to be safer when it comes to fighting the pandemic. The country has lost months of economic activity and over 27,000 individuals to the health crisis, Reuters reported.
On June 12, the administration of Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez is set to remove a state of emergency. As a result, Spaniards will have the ability to begin to move freely again as the epidemic dissipates. Per the report, a representative of the tourism ministry said the same shift will likely apply to some people from other countries on June 22, or potentially June 21 at the soonest.
“We want to reactivate and accelerate international mobility, but starting with areas in similar epidemiological situations," the representative noted.
Nigel Hack, founder and CEO of luxury travel agency Madrid & Beyond, said in a PYMNTS panel that the company expects to see tourists from mountain areas, rural areas, private villas and small islands. He noted that it is inevitable that significant metropolitan areas will see a large drop in demand, but the company hopes that tourists will go and see the countryside.
Spain has had discussions with tour operators and air carriers, mainly in Germany, and officials have noted that Spain is interested in having travel procedures set at the continental level.
Hack said in the panel that his company has handled "virtually all the trip cancellations," and that most travelers have postponed their trips. Instead of rescheduling to fixed dates, he said that "most have just postponed with credit to a date in the future."
In other COVID-19-related travel news, the government of Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean is offering to cover vacation costs for tourists who catch the coronavirus while visiting an island country.