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Spain eyes vibrant summer after ‘dazzling’ visitor surge


MADRID: Spain stated on Wednesday it hoped to succeed in its report visitor numbers of 2019 after two years of pandemic restrictions, though hovering inflation figures recommend robust occasions will return after the season ends.

Before the pandemic hit in 2020, Spain was the world’s second-favourite vacation vacation spot and this yr it seems to be set to reclaim its place, the Exceltur tourism affiliation stated. Thanks to the “travel frenzy sweeping across Europe” Spain had seen a “dazzling surge in tourist numbers”, it stated.

According to Spain’s tourism ministry, 22.7 million vacationers visited the nation within the first 5 months of 2022, seven occasions the quantity in the identical interval a yr earlier, with the development set to proceed into the summer.

“The number of bookings confirms Spain as a favourite international destination and indicates a good outlook for the high season,” Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto stated on Monday. “After two long years.. we are finally going to see a summer like in previous years,” stated Fernando Valdes, a high official on the tourism ministry.

This yr, Spain’s tourism exercise is predicted to “reach a level similar to that of 2017, when the sector performed very well,” stated Caixabank analyst Javier Ibanez. “The sectoral indicators paint a very positive picture.”

Exceltur stated July and August may even be “similar” to ranges reached in 2019, which was a report yr for Spain by way of guests. “European and national demand is very high”, with the surge in exercise anticipated to affect “the entire (tourism) sector”, stated the affiliation’s vice chairman Jose Luis Zoreda.

And this view is shared throughout the sector, significantly by these alongside the coast. “Everything suggests this is going to be one of our best-ever summers thanks to the post-pandemic syndrome,” stated Diego Salinas, head of Abreca, an affiliation representing bars, eating places and cafes in Benidorm, a mass tourism hub on Spain’s southeastern coast.

For the tourism sector which accounted for 13 p.c of jobs and 12.5 p.c of Spain’s GDP earlier than the pandemic, this long-awaited revival is a large aid, even when many gamers have struggled to recruit workers, notably on the coast and in massive cities.

Exceltur believes tourism will generate some 151.8 billion euros ($155 billion) this yr — totally 10 billion greater than initially anticipated. Such a determine can be barely decrease than the 155 billion euros reached in 2019 however far outstripping the 52 billion of 2020 or the 88 billion generated a yr later.

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