“If vaccination continues, we still have two or three years to travel as before the covid”
Only 5% of Alicante travelers choose Europe for this summer and that same percentage is close to those who dare to take great trips, with the Caribbean (Mexico, Punta Cana) as the star destination in these cases. The reason, the possibility of resting in large outdoor spaces and that do not ask for negative PCR test to enter, as the travel agency consulted, that they are selling many stays within the Valencian Community itself: 60% will stay close to home, according to the Valencian Business Association of Travel Agencies (AEVAV). The remaining 30% is distributed by Spain, especially the islands, the Andalusian Costa de la Luz and the north of Spain.
Those who stay in the Community mainly opt for the beach, with more pull in summer, although the boom in rural tourism that began in 2020 due to the pandemic continues. Again, most indoor accommodations will be full since they are completed earlier as the supply of beds is less than in coastal destinations, where until a few days ago there were still hotels closed at the expense of the arrival of foreign tourists. Despite the weight of this client, especially the British, travel agencies are in favor of arriving with a negative PCR due to the advance of the delta variant, explains the spokesman of the group, Miguel Jiménez.
Regarding the recovery of the business in this sector, which reached a turnover below 10% during the worst of the health crisis, the Business Association indicates that they have recovered around 20% of the market but that it will take about 3 years to return to the 2019 figures, especially if there are setbacks such as end-of-year trips. «The cases of Mallorca are not good news although practically 90% of the end-of-year trips have already been made. Nor should we criminalize young people, although we should all meet minimum standards and have a PCR or antigen test before leaving and when returning.
“There has been a change in trend for a month but we depend on the British customer”
Juan José Pérez Parker, president of the Benidorm Travel Agencies association, points out the change in trend since a month ago with a higher demand with many last minute bookings that improve the bleak outlook of the last 15 months although in this area they have a huge dependence on the foreign market, especially the British. “The national customer is responding better than expected but there is too much supply and it cannot be covered by Spanish tourism, there are many companies that cannot sell their product.”
Florida Travel Spain, in Alicante, also highlights the important reactivation of business tourism whose season has started in Europe although international destinations such as the US, China, Australia and Canada remain closed. “In Europe, the September fairs have been activated, they are asking for them and they are going to be held,” said Rafael Lillo, manager of a business that has recovered its activity in the last six weeks.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.