German Finance Minister Peter Altmaier outraged the tourism industry when, in February, he advised his fellow citizens not to book summer holidays. Not within the country, much less outside. He did it precisely on the dates when Germans, generally very far-sighted, usually plan their summer trips. After a few months, with vaccination progressing at a good pace and once the requirement of quarantine on return has been lifted, the situation is very different: many Germans will go abroad, even if they have to plan on short notice. And Spain wants to convince you that it is the best possible destination. Faced with the unknown of the British market – Spain is still out of the green list that allows travel – the German could become the first source of tourists this summer. Almost one of the eight million euros of the bell You deserve Spain They will be dedicated to promoting Spanish destinations in Germany: coasts, inland, nature, sport …
“We have to make it as easy for Germans to travel to Spain as it is to do it within their own country or to neighboring countries,” said Miguel Sanz, director of Turespaña, during a meeting this week with journalists in Berlin, after meeting with the main tour operators in the country. Spain allows from June 7 the entry of tourists who meet one of these three requirements: complete vaccination, certificate of having passed the disease or negative test. The novelty is that the test no longer has to be only a PCR, which in Germany costs between 80 and 100 euros, but that a rapid antigen test is also allowed, three times cheaper or directly free because the Government offers them free of charge. its inhabitants as part of its strategy for a safe de-escalation. The news that Spain allowed this type of test – Germany has been accepting it for almost two months when arriving from Spain and the rest of the EU – has already been noticed in searches and reservations, explained Sanz, which have grown by 65% .
The forecasts of Turespaña, detailed its director, indicate that this summer the numbers of travelers may reach between 60% and 75% of those achieved in 2019, which was also a record year for the Spanish tourism sector: they touched the 84 million international tourists, who spent more than 92,200 million euros. In total, for the whole year, and taking into account that the first months “were bad due to mobility limitations”, Turespaña estimates that the figures could be between 40% and 55% of those obtained in the last year before the pandemic. Revenues, Sanz added, will probably not fully recover until 2023, in part because other types of travel, such as business travel, will still take a little longer to return to normal.
Sanz, who met in Berlin with the TUI tour operator and the DRV association, assured that the forecasts indicate that the winter season in the Canary Islands will be very good, and that the pandemic is an opportunity for Spain to diversify its tourist offer. That is why the campaign, which is aimed at different age groups (young people, families, seniors …) shows the different possibilities of Spain: in addition to the coast, it promotes inland tourism, gastronomy and nature. The advertisements, which can already be seen on different websites and on social networks, play on the idea that, after 15 months of restrictions and teleworking, Germans already deserve a vacation, a term that the campaign equates to “Spain”.
“The vaccination policy is the best tourist campaign,” said Sanz during the meeting at the Spanish Embassy. Spain is insisting on the security it offers its visitors, which it already tested last summer with different regulations that have subsequently been copied by other tourist destinations. The objective, explained the director of Turespaña, is to overcome the three resistances that German and European tourists show in times of pandemic: that they want to travel again, that they do so outside their country and that they choose Spain. To make it easier for you, Turespaña shows on its website what requirements travelers of different nationalities must meet and also what the current regulations are in each autonomous community: from capacity in restaurants to business hours.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.