Spain's hoteliers want tourism to be a Brexit negotiations' priority.

02-08-2016Miquel A. Cañellas

Spain's hoteliers are urging the government to adopt an active role in the Brexit negotiations, stressing the importance of British tourism. Spain receives some 18 million British tourists a year.

The president of Cehat, the national confederation of hoteliers, wants the Brexit activation and governmental relations to result in the best for all citizens. Juan Molas doesn't want "political declarations" muddying the excellent and longstanding relations with the British people.

The UK is at present the largest tourism market for Spain. Around 40% of UK tourists who travel abroad come to Spain. Last year, this meant 23.2 million airline seats were booked, an increase of almost four million over 2015. The forecast for 2017, if more moderate, nevertheless suggests a further rise of 1.4 million.

Cehat believes that Madrid should ensure that the tourism industry is given priority in the negotiations. Issues of concern include the open skies policy and visas. It also wants promotion this year to be targeted at maintaining what until now has been a very loyal market. In fact, Turespaña has put in place a campaign with Brexit in mind. "SpaininMYheart, Is there a place in your heart for Spain?" will run throughout April and aims to reach one million users.

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Lawrie / Hace over 4 years

Do I detect a little Englander mentality here? I think the vast majority of us like and get on well with the Spanish people and hope that the end result of Brexit will be business as usual.

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Henry James / Hace over 4 years

So that means that 60% of UK tourists currently go somewhere else,a figure that can only rise the more difficult you make Brexit for us and it's aftermath. We hold quite a good hand so bear that in mind.

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Mark / Hace over 4 years

Hypocrisy that's what it is Majorca don't want tourists one minute now they are whining about the effects of brexit well tough you deserve everything that's coming enjoy your unemployment benefits oh silly me you don't get them ! And you can't come here either what a shame !

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