The Mesa del Turismo of leading organisations in Spain's travel and tourism industries is blaming the minister for the interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska, for congestion at airports due to the lack of police officers at passport controls and for the poor tourism image that this conveys.
Large airports have been overwhelmed to the point that in Madrid-Barajas more than 6,000 passengers have missed their flights over the past month because of queues and delays. This is a situation, according to the Mesa del Turismo, which is being repeated at the airports in Alicante, Malaga and Tenerife.
The president, Juan Molas, says: "The image that Spain is transmitting as a tourist destination is deplorable, and it could be solved in the simplest way. It would be enough for the minister for the interior, in the exercise of his functions and as he has been repeatedly demanding from the sector, to increase staffing at police controls in airports with the highest density of international traffic."
With the Omicron variant attracting the most attention as the "main threat" to the reactivation of tourism but also with uncertainty as to its scope, the Mesa del Turismo believes there will nevertheless be further recovery of foreign tourism thanks to the extensive vaccination in Spain and to confidence in international markets since the summer.
"Accordingly, what we do not need is the inaction of the interior minister who, by not making a decision in a timely manner, is directly responsible for this absurdity that harms thousands of passengers and the Spain brand at a particularly delicate time for one of its pillars, namely tourism."