Spain’s Foreign Minister is hopeful for saving the Canary Islands winter tourism
Spain’s Foreign Minister Feels Hopeful: After a car crash summer tourism season, Spain is hoping a more flexible British quarantine policy will make it possible to save some of the winter season in the Canary Islands, Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya said this morning.
The UK, the largest source of foreign visitors to Spain, hammered an unexpected quarantine on travellers over the summer after COVID-19 infections surged in Spain, and many other European countries followed and also imposed restrictions.
That tore apart efforts to bolster a tourism industry that accounts for more than one in eight Spanish jobs. The number of foreign tourists visiting Spain fell 75% in July from 12 months before.
Whilst the winter tourism season is not as big as summer’s, it is still substantial. Spain’s Canary Islands in the Atlantic Ocean are one of the few parts of any European country warm enough for beach holidays in winter.
“The important thing is that there is a window of opportunity that did not exist before. Because the UK previously considered Spain as a whole,” Gonzalez Laya said in an interview with RNE radio, further saying that there would now be negotiations on details. “It is important for the Canary archipelago which benefits from winter tourism.”
The latest news is light at the end of the tunnel for business owners on Spain’s Islands. But Tenerife businessman Trevor Mitchell feels it’s too late, blaming the British media.
“The Spanish government can keep making these statements. But personally I feel it’s too little too late. The media have written off Spain as a whole and that includes us here. It’s all down to the fear factor now – nothing else, it’s all political bluster”
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