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Spain holiday booking rush jams servers and Brits celebrate July reopening
24 May 2020 @ 19:25


HOLIDAY booking websites have reported their servers almost crashing as the rest of the world flocks online to grab themselves a trip to Spain.

President Pedro Sánchez's announcement that it will now be safe to travel to the country from the beginning of July has led to flood-barriers opening and a surge of reservations at a rate rarely seen before.

“There will be a tourism season this summer,” Sánchez says firmly.

“It'll start with July.”

But 'safety conditions' at destination and also in countries of origin have to be guaranteed, he warns.

These will be assured for Spain, although whether or not travel is permitted from certain world regions will depend upon their own Covid-19 situations.

“Spain needs tourism,” Sánchez says – probably unnecessarily, although those living and working in parts of the country which rely heavily upon the holiday industry are relieved to hear that the central government recognises this.

Practically as soon as Sánchez had finished his Parliamentary announcement, holiday booking portals such as Rumbo, Atrápalo, Expedia, Kayak and Booking almost trebled within seconds.

Spain, in a 'normal' year, welcomes around 80 million visitors from abroad – nearly twice as many as the permanent, year-round population – meaning traders and employees in the hotel and catering industries or in sectors linked closely to these were starting to sweat at the thought Spain may be shut for the summer.

Even though the UK is far from out of the water in terms of Covid-19, the British press has already headlined Sánchez's announcement.

The Daily Mail's story title declared: “Back to Benidorm in JULY! Spanish PM tells tourists 'we're waiting for you' as he vows to 'safely' reopen hotspots ahead of more lockdown easing on Monday.”

Meanwhile, The Mirror writes: “Breaking: Spain tells Brits to start planning holidays,” and The Sun reported: “Brits abroad? Spain announces plans to welcome foreign tourists in July as hopes grow for Brit holidaymakers.”

But both The Sun and the Mail questioned whether current rules about 14 days' quarantine in both the UK and Spain for anyone entering from outside will stop British nationals from travelling.

This said, it is expected that the plans to reopen Spain for international holidaymakers will, by default, come without any quarantine requirements for incomers.

Whilst the Mail headline presupposes that for UK tourists, 'Spain' means 'Benidorm', The Sun shows a photo of a beach that appears to be Peñíscola (Castellón province), a low-density and relatively unspoilt part of the east coast that has yet to be fully discovered by Brits, and the Mirror cover picture is of Tenerife's Playa del Duque in the Costa Adeje area with a second illustration of Sanxenxo (Pontevedra province) beach in Galicia and a third of Magaluf, Mallorca, in the daytime, also showing Norwegian holidaymakers as well as Brits.



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