MADRID – Spain will be ready to receive international tourists in June. They are welcome with a digital green certificate. The government expects to have the certificate ready in June.
So said the Secretary of State for Tourism, Fernando Valdés, at the annual summit of the World Council of Travel and Tourism (WTTC) in Mexico. Speaking to more than 600 representatives from private and public tourism industries in 20 countries, Valdés released the “great” news yesterday. He said vaccinated American tourists will be able to enter the European Union.
The sector gathered in Cancún expects more positive news of this ilk from now on. It is looking forward to tourism’s near future with optimism. All agree the key to recovery is measures equally applied around the world.
In fact, the 20th WTTC summit, this year considered to be the first major tourism event after corona, is held under the slogan ‘Uniting the world for recovery’. The President and CEO of the WTTC, Gloria Guevara, emphasised the “most influential leaders of both the public and private sectors” are meeting in person for the first time in nearly a year. This is where they “start a new chapter” in tourism’a recovery.
We must be united
Guevara is convinced tourism will emerge stronger from this crisis. She stressed that, in order to speed up the recovery, “unity and additional efforts” are needed with regard to”lifting travel restrictions and increasing vaccination coverage”.
Valdés, in turn, emphasised that “now we are not like last summer” with a “totally different” situation. He feels now is the time to provide security for international tourists. There is a need to provide travellers with information so they can holiday and return to their country fully informed. Accordingly, it is important the means for this, such as the digital certificate, are standardised.
National demand is the engine for the rest
Many speakers agree that domestic tourism demand this year will be the engine for further recovery. According to City Sightseeing Worldwide president Enrique Ybarra, one of the emerging trends is people holidaying close by and even visiting places of interest in their own area or city.
Gibran Chapur, executive vice president of Palace Resorts, the chain that hosts the summit, further explained that his business reopened in June last year and that having a well-organised national or local industry has helped. “We have always been clear about the protocols we used, which created a lot of confidence among our customers.”
Fitur, the next industry meeting
The summit, organised on the basis of strict hygiene and health protocols, paves the way for other face-to-face events. The next event is the international tourism fair FITUR in Madrid, which will be held between 19 and 23 May.
A meeting between Valdés and Mexico’s Minister of Tourism, confirmed a large Mexican delegation will be coming to Madrid. Spain was the third preferred destination for Mexican tourists in 2019, after the United States and France. A total of 597,777 Mexicans came to Spain that year spending nearly €1.2 billion.