London, Manchester, Liverpool…? Come back tomorrow”. The economic crisis that has caused coronavirus and the increased travel restrictions in Great Britain they have practically left no air connections with the UK to the province. A situation that occurs in the middle of the low season, so that the companies that connect the Alicante-Elche airport with the United Kingdom have stopped flying daily, concentrating their flight offer on weekends, as, for example, Easyjet, which only operates on Fridays with London. Ryanair has more flights scheduled but, for example, on Thursday there was no link to major UK cities and only Vueling flew to Cardiff.
This situation explains the bleak image of many of the holiday hotels on the Costa BlancaThey expect a reaction from the Boris Johnson government in December, a month for which, curiously, reserves continue to come in, the same as for next summer. The crisis is cruel and the province has gone from having several flights a day with Great Britain to concentrating them on a few days a week, and even so the average occupation of the planes has improved. Hope is in the arrival of vaccines and plans for 2021. In the midst of this downturn, Ryanair announced this week that as of June 1 it will add a new link with the United Kingdom, specifically to the Teesside conurbation, an industrial area in the northeast of England with 400,000 population. At stake, the 2.8 million British tourists who chose the Costa Blanca for their holidays in 2019, and who this year have remained, due to the pandemic, at just 350,000.
At most, if the sprouts were controlled, the quarantine in UK and tourists lost their fear of traveling, the airport would serve about 3.8 million passengers until December, 75% less than expected. That is, the covid brings the traffic at the airport to the figures 20 years ago.
Apart from the impact on other tourism subsectors, the British make 6.3 million hotel overnight stays per year, the first market after which the Netherlands is located, with 950,000 overnight stays per year, France and Italy (790,000), Nordic countries (665,000) and Germany (514,000), according to data from Turisme.
The English represent half of the entire tourist market (Spanish and foreigners) and 75% of the foreigner but with an economic profile, in addition, medium / low, which ends up affecting the cash register. They were key in the sector as a whole, but the English who choose the Costa Blanca do not have the purchasing power of foreigners who, for example, travel to Barcelona, Madrid or Seville, but they are still basic. The tourism sector had started the year optimistic and without a trace of the supposed negative effects of Brexit, to the point that, for this season, the forecast for British tourism was that it would grow 2%, and 4% in profitability. Everything was blown up in March.
The airport only had 18 flights yesterday with Barcelona, Madrid, Stockholm, Cardiff, Amsterdam, Gothenburg and Brussels. The links with Great Britain are no longer daily and, in addition, the ticket has become more expensive.
On the other hand, the Civil Guard troops who guard travelers who arrive in Alicante on flights from countries where the incidence of covid is very high, have drawn up 24 sanctions since last Monday, when the control began . Passengers who arrived without a negative PCR test and had to undergo the antigen test, testing negative and continuing the journey, but will not be spared the corresponding fine, as established by the Government. In general, the few tourists who have arrived this week on the Costa Blanca have shown responsibility and all have arrived free of covid, which does not exempt them from accrediting it with a PCR test. Aena and External Health control that tourists arriving in the province or any traveler from countries with a high incidence of covid present a negative PCR test on covid valid for 72 hours before starting the trip. Those who do not bring it are exposed to fines of between 3,000 euros and 600,000 euros (depending on the severity), and will have to take an antigen test.
Online campaign to promote Alicante at Christmas
Turisme has carried out an express promotion this week in a Belgian online medium to encourage tourists to visit Alicante this Christmas. In Le Journal de l’Evasion you can find reports, articles and hundreds of proposals and ideas for stays for all tastes: gastronomy, unusual, well-being, cruises, trips and getaways. His team is made up of journalists specializing in tourism, and other media in general use our experience in this area. The promotion has focused on urban tourism in Alicante.
Digsmak is a news publisher with over 12 years of reporting experiance; and have published in many industry leading publications and news sites.