Cala Agulla last summer. | Efe


Spain's tourism industry is ruling out there being activity at Easter in order to guarantee a good summer season and a "lifeline" for the industry.

In an interview on Friday, the executive vice-president of the Exceltur alliance for tourism excellence, José Luis Zoreda, said that for there to be a summer with "appropriate conditions", vaccination programmes need to be accelerated, a European health certificate needs to be approved, ERTE must be extended, and there has to be more direct and indirect aid.

Zoreda observed that governmental decisions, necessary for health reasons, make an opening-up at Easter unfeasible. "We cannot lose the summer, and if these are the most appropriate measures to ensure this, we don't have better criteria to say otherwise." The decisions to maintain the closure of regions' perimeters, he added, do not send out a signal "not to visit us". Rather, foreign tourism markets can trust that the situation will have improved by the summer.

He stressed that there is pent-up tourism demand in the main foreign markets but that bookings are still subject to possible precautions. Recovery, he suggested, is likely to be "uneven", and so he argued that there needs to be "health confidence", with levels of herd immunity sufficient to eliminate uncertainties and to facilitate mobility that will satisfy the pent-up demand.

He reiterated the need for specific aid for the tourism industry, noting that there have been businesses which have been unable to invoice for almost twelve months. "In the tourism industry, every plane seat that is not sold and every hotel bed that is not reserved is lost forever." Other sectors can "store" production and sell later. This isn't the case with tourism.