Spanish hotels may stay closed after lockdown ends – as there is no point opening without British tourists – The Sun

THOUSANDS of hotels and other tourist accommodation in Spain WON'T be reopening again this year, despite permission to do so from May 11 as part of the country's de-escalation plan.

They 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.

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Spain could return to a "new normal" by the end of June with holiday apartments and hotels reopening by next month, according to the prime minister.

But Brits are having to wait longer, as they will only open to Spanish holidaymakers for now and no dates have been given for when international visitors can return.

And hoteliers from Benidorm, the Canary Islands, the Costa del Sol and the Balearics say relying on the local and Spanish market to revitalise the hard-hit industry just won't add up.

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."

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

Referring to the 70 per cent decrease required in occupation, Mr. Marichal added: "This is useless. We simply cannot open.

"If we do not have free movement, with all the necessary control measures, we will not action protocols."

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.

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Because the limitations of capacity and services are hardly compatible with the tourist activity itself and the other hand, because it allows hotels to be opened without at the same time allowing the [movement] of tourists."

"Thus, the first conclusion we draw from the government plan is that the hotel activity allowed in 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."

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


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

A spokesperson for the Mallorca Hotel Business Federation said: "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 and give a false impression of things going back to normal.

"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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