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Spanish hotels beg officials not to block Brits after coronavirus lockdown ends

Spain’s hotel chiefs have warned they won’t be able to afford to reopen after coronavirus lockdown ends unless British holidaymakers are allowed to return.  

Thousands of hotels and other tourist accommodation in Spain won’t be able to reopen despite permission to do so from May 11th as part of the country’s de-escalation plan. 

But hotels and other tourist accommodation say that without international holidaymakers, including the huge British market on which all the popular resorts depend, there is ‘no point’ in spending money they haven’t got on social distancing and health regulations.

Hoteliers from Benidorm, the Canary Islands, the Costa del Sol and the Balearics say they will not be able to rely solely on the local and Spanish market to revitalise the hard-hit industry. 

Thousands of hotels and other tourist accommodation in Spain won’t be able to reopen despite permission to do so from May 11th as part of the country’s de-escalation plan

Descalation in Canary Islands, Tenerife, Spain on April 29. The islands of La Gomera, El Hierro and La Gomera will be the first to leave the confinement

Descalation in Canary Islands, Tenerife, Spain on April 29. The islands of La Gomera, El Hierro and La Gomera will be the first to leave the confinement

Canary Islands, Tenerife, during lockdown. Spain hasn't yet specified when international tourism will be able to resume with no dates yet set for the opening of ports and airports. International travel is expected to be last on the agenda after local, regional and national holidaymakers

Canary Islands, Tenerife, during lockdown. Spain hasn’t yet specified when international tourism will be able to resume with no dates yet set for the opening of ports and airports. International travel is expected to be last on the agenda after local, regional and national holidaymakers

They will need to spend millions of euros on renovations for health security against a possible resurgence of the coronavirus and with a huge reduction in capacity due to the need for social distancing, plus staffing costs, hotels already in the red will just not be able to cope.

Spain hasn’t yet specified when international tourism will be able to resume with no dates yet set for the opening of ports and airports. International travel is expected to be last on the agenda after local, regional and national holidaymakers.

The Spanish Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Accommodations (CEHAT) has also voiced major disappointment that the government has not told hoteliers what they need to do, what guidelines they should follow and how to manage the health crisis when guests start to arrive.

President Jorge Marichal said: ‘Tourist accommodation establishments such as hotels, apartments, resorts, hostels, camping sites, spas, which the Confederation represents, don’t know how to proceed with this opening and it will not be viable either in the vast majority of hotel facilities. We need to be told exactly how to proceed with the opening and what measures will be necessary.’

A Torremolinos hotelier from the restaurant Casa Sista anticipates the end of the confinement and installs screens in its restaurants on April 29

A Torremolinos hotelier from the restaurant Casa Sista anticipates the end of the confinement and installs screens in its restaurants on April 29 

Its establishments will have digital charts and ozone disinfection arches at the entrance as part of new post-lockdown measures

Its establishments will have digital charts and ozone disinfection arches at the entrance as part of new post-lockdown measures 

He said hoteliers could only afford to make all the sanitary arrangements if there was ‘authorised reasonable mobility.’

‘if we do not have free movement, with all the necessary control measures, we will not action protocols,’ Mr. Marichal added and, referring to the 70 per cent decrease required in occupation, he added: ‘This is useless. We simply cannot open.’

He said despite the disappointment, hoteliers would not ‘throw in the towel’ and would ‘continue to work to save tourism in this country.’

In Benidorm and on the Costa Blanca, the hotel association HOSBEC said the government’s de-escalation plan must not become a ‘concrete-filled lifebuoy for tourism’.

President, Toni Mayor said: ‘In the conditions that President Sánchez has proposed, the opening of hotel establishments in these de-escalation phases is very complicated: on the one hand, because the limitations of capacity and services are hardly compatible with the tourist activity itself and, on the other hand, because It allows hotels to be opened without at the same time allowing the displacement of clients and tourists, which is a manifest inconsistency.’

‘Thus, the first conclusion we draw from the government plan is that the hotel activity that allows the de-escalation phases is very minimal. In addition, the uncertainty goes even beyond the end of phase III scheduled for the end of June: without international air operations, there will be no tourism that recovers or activity that can guarantee a return to normality at reasonable levels.’

Canary Islands, Tenerife, Spain, pictured above. In Benidorm and on the Costa Blanca, the hotel association HOSBEC said the government's de-escalation plan must not become a 'concrete-filled lifebuoy for tourism'

Canary Islands, Tenerife, Spain, pictured above. In Benidorm and on the Costa Blanca, the hotel association HOSBEC said the government’s de-escalation plan must not become a ‘concrete-filled lifebuoy for tourism’

Without more financial help, Hosbec warns of ‘a cascade of layoffs, destruction of employment and even bankruptcy proceedings among hundreds of tourist companies.’

Benidorm’s Mayor, Toni Perez said despite the difficulties, hoteliers had to offer health safety guarantees so they could win tourists back, wherever they came from.

Hoteliers in Mallorca and Ibiza have also voiced concern that it isn’t worth opening unless there are international tourists.

‘The de-escalation plan does not solve at all how to proceed to the opening of hotel establishments. The conditions in which it is posed are unfeasible, although they give a false impression of back to the new normal,’ said a spokesman for the Mallorca Hotel Business Federation.

‘It is much worse in the case of the Balearic archipelago where we absolutely depend on arrivals by air and our majority issuing markets come from European countries. Reopening of hotels is just not feasible.’

 

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