As more governments issue travel warnings for Spain, foreign tourists in Valencia are expected to be scarce this year.
The increase in infections and accumulated incidence, not only in the Valencian Community but throughout Spain, is already bringing to light the first of its most visible consequences: the Valencian hospitality sector is about to relive last year’s horror, a tourist season without the foreign tourists.
The latest restrictions announced by the president of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig, last Thursday, July 8, and the recommendation of other countries such as France, Germany, the United Kingdom, or Belgium not to travel to Spain, will make foreign tourists a rare sight on the beach. Unfortunately, there are not enough local tourists to ensure the sector’s survival.
It is a well-known fact that the majority of visitors to the Valencian Community come from outside the country. And even more specifically from countries such as the United Kingdom and France. The United Kingdom has already made it difficult for their citizens to visit Spain, and the French government recently advised its citizens to avoid vacationing in Spain and Portugal due to the worsening health situation.
“It is prudent advice, a recommendation. Better to stay in France or go to some other countries” said Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune.
According to statistics, Belgian, French, and British tourists spend slightly more than 4.9 billion euros in the Valencian Community each year. However, this is an amount that the Valencian hospitality industry can only dream of for the second season in a row…
With the goal of doing something when nothing else can be done, Valencian Regional Secretary for Tourism, Francesc Colomer, has stated that the region must look beyond its traditional markets and into new ones. In the near future, the department plans to expand into other Western European markets, as well as those in the East (Poland, Russia, etc.) and long-distance markets (China, USA …). “In the future,if we want to get more foreign tourists in Valencia, we must cultivate diversity and seek out opportunities that benefit us, and stop being so reliant on specific markets,” Colomer added.
According to the Conselleria de Sanitat Universal I Salut Pblica’s latest update, there are nearly 11,000 active cases in the Valencian Community, the highest figure since February 23, when the third wave began to decline. With these figures, it is difficult to expect tourists to visit. Although the occupancy rate is higher than last year, the figures are very far from decent. There is still time for the health situation to improve, but it is becoming increasingly clear that another tourist season in Valencia will be cut short.
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