Spanish Tourism minister Reyes Maroto has said Spain is ready to open its gates for British holidaymakers. The tourism minister said his country and the UK are in advanced talks to develop a travel corridor. This would mean that British holidaymakers could enjoy their summer holidays in Spain.
He said safe links between the two countries were being developed in time for an early rollout of travel with the country’s main tourism markets, such as the UK and Germany.
This is great news for Brits looking to travel to Spain for a much-needed holiday. It is even better news for those businesses who have been struggling to survive in popular Spanish holiday resorts such as Benidorm.
For some ex-pats in Spain who moved to Spain for a new life, this news could be a little late. We have spoken to ex-pats in Benidorm who have welcomed the news. However, some business owners are not convinced this latest news will help them survive.
One ex-pat in Benidorm who did not wish to be named said they have already had to close their doors for good.
“There is no return for us. We were struggling at the start of the pandemic with the reduction of British holidaymakers. But, when the UK went into full lockdown and banned people from travelling abroad, we knew then that we would not survive. Now, we have to decide if to find jobs here instead of working for ourselves or go back to the UK and start afresh.”
An ex-pat from Benidorm who has welcomed the news is still worried. They don’t believe the summer will see as many tourists as in previous years. According to the Manchester ex-pat, this is not down to people being scared of flying abroad.
“I am fearful for the businesses in Benidorm. We have had it really hard here and to be honest, I don’t see a positive future. Travel companies are charging a lot more than in previous years for people to have a holiday in Benidorm.”
Some entertainers in Benidorm were forced to move back to the UK to make ends meet are hoping the Brits will return.
Tui chief executive Fritz Joussen said he was confident travel curbs would be eased during the summer.
He said: “Travelling in Europe will be possible in summer 2021 – safely and responsibly. We are preparing intensively for this. Tui is already in close coordination with Greece, Spain, and Cyprus.
“Talks are to be extended to other holiday destinations in the western and eastern Mediterranean in the coming weeks.”
He added the introduction of a vaccine passport and better testing could help travel resume.
So, with Spain welcoming tourists from the UK, will you be jumping on a plane and have fun in the sun, or will you be staying closer to home?