If you are sitting in Spain and watching the crisis unfold in Catalonia, you could be forgiven for thinking that it is a question of Keep Calm and Carry On. But imagine if you are sitting back in Britain or Germany and see police making arrests in Catalonia, strikes and demonstrations. It might make you think twice about travelling to Catalonia. I know of one case where a person was due to travel to Barcelona from Britain for a weekend break but decided to cancel because of the ongoing problems. You could say that this was a rather knee-jerk reaction, but if you are on holiday you don't really want to become involved in public strife; after all, it is your moment to relax.

I think sometimes Spain forgets that it generates a sizable part of its income from tourism. In other words the government needs to keep tourists informed about what is happening so cancellations can be avoided. The Spanish government needed to tell the world that Catalonia was open for business and there were no problems in the resorts. There may have been protests in Barcelona but the city was still functioning. The same thing sometimes occurs here. A story breaks in the British and German media that you know to be false, but sometimes the local authorities appear to be incapable of putting their message across to the foreign media which at the same time would reassure holidaymakers. Spain needs to get its message across and quick.