Francina Armengol emphasized why the summer tourist season was so important for the Spanish Balearic Islands when she launched the economic devastation caused by the coronavirus epidemic. The product collapsed wild last year 24 percent,
“The economy has come to a complete standstill,” said the head of the archipelago, which includes Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza, which attracts 14 million foreign visitors in a good year. On the eve of the new tourist season, only one-fifth of the region’s approximately 1,000 hotels are open.
The plight of the Balearics stands out even in Spain, whose growth was in 2020 the worst in the industrial world. But it shares with Spain և the Greek islands, which have suffered economically from the epidemic և are preparing to return to mass tourism, they hope that their salvation will be.
German tourists are already returning, welcoming the hosts and bar owners. But the difference between success and failure can be gaining back visitors from the UK.
On Friday, Spain announced that it will visit the United Kingdom of tourists from May 24. Greece opened to visitors to the UK last month. But both remain on Britain’s “green list” from which UK citizens can leave without strict quarantine requirements.
Ahead of the tourist season, the Spanish և Greek Islands take different routes.
Spain waits longer for British tourists to open, although it still prevents EU official horse leadership,
Greece is on its way, opening up rather than vaccinating people in tourist-safe islands ahead of the rest of the population, welcoming foreign visitors with vaccinated shots that have not yet been approved by the EU pharmaceutical company.
“Some directions play irresponsible games, sometimes there are irresponsible offers,” Armengol said. “Public health is fundamental.”
He used Balearics’ solid cowboy curbs Madrid:, which has sought to ease restrictions ելու on shifting control from continent to continent. The 14-day infection rate of Balearics is generally less than one-third of Spain, while its seven-day duration rate: is below the limit UK:,
In the light of such statistics, Spain urges the UK to assess route safety on a regional rather than national basis. It is believed that this will allow British travelers to return to the Balearic Islands, the second largest source of tourism for all of Spain, to return to the islands and elsewhere, after Germany.
The importance of such a move was highlighted this week as the UK government presented its advice on any area that was not considered “green”. The Secretary of Transport of the United Kingdom Grant Shaps stressed that “amber” countries, such as Spain or Greece, must pass several tests to quarantine when they return to the United Kingdom. “If it is an ‘amber’ or ‘red’ country, please do not travel for the holidays,” he stressed.
The return of British tourists is economically vital for Spain and Greece. Last year, both had a decline of almost 80% in the number of tourists. Both are aiming to return to about half of 2019 levels this year.
Under normal circumstances, tourism accounts for about 12 percent of Spain’s gross domestic product, compared with about one-fifth of Greece’s output. Corfu, which is a popular destination for British visitors, is about 90 percent directly or indirectly dependent on tourism, said Charalmbos Voulgaris, head of the Island Hotel Association. He warned that if this summer was as bad as 2020, “it would be catastrophic.”
Greece, which is so at risk, said in April that British tourists were welcome. This month it spread to all countries. It is also the first EU country to allow people vaccinated with Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine who have not yet been approved by the bloc’s drug regulator or WHO without quarantine.
“Russia is a potential market for us,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told the Financial Times. “We are diligently following EU rules, but as far as welcoming Sputnik-vaccinated tourists in Greece is concerned, I see no problem.”
The country is also banking on its own vaccination strategy to ensure the safety of tourist hotspots. Thirty-two small Greek islands have already been fully vaccinated and declared the first “throatless” regions of the country. The government plans to fully vaccinate 36 medium-sized islands by the end of May and 19 larger islands by the end of June.
But Greece has no control over what the Balearic Islands do on their way back from the mainland to its nearly 100 inhabited islands. Instead, he hopes the whole country will make up the UK green list.
The British officials said that the updated list, published early next month, will focus on the islands, where it is possible, and will give priority to the largest tourist markets in the UK. Portugal, which is already open for tourism, is the only EU country on the UK green list.
“We regularly review individual island data, as we do for all countries and territories,” said the UK Department for Transport.
This approach could mean that the Balearic Islands և the Canary Islands would fully understand the British before all of Spain. But it could mean problems for Greece, which has an infection rate 80 percent Above Spain, according to the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Shapps told the FT that it was unlikely that “people would wait too long for other countries to join the green list”, citing the progress of the EU vaccination program.
In any case, Greece is looking further. At the end of the month, it will have more flights from the United States than before the epidemic.
“This is not a normal summer,” said Akis Skertsos, the prime minister’s aide. “Security is a problem. “We want visitors to trust us.”