Spain sees tourism return to pre-pandemic levels in 2022 after strong September data | The powerful 790 KFGO
MADRID (Reuters) – International travel to Spain is recovering quickly and could allow the tourism-dependent nation to reach levels of foreign visitors before the pandemic by 2022, the government said on Wednesday after data showed a sharp increase in arrivals in September.
The number of foreign tourists visiting Spain more than quadrupled in September compared to a year ago to almost 4.7 million, according to data from the National Statistics Office, due to widespread vaccination and restrictions more flexible travel arrangements attracted more visitors.
“These data confirm that a reactivation of international tourism is underway and that in 2022 we could return to pre-pandemic levels,” Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto said in a statement.
Maroto cited Spain’s natural tourist attractions and its high level of immunization – around 80% of the population – as driving forces for the recovery.
She had said that in the past, foreign tourism would be at half of the pre-pandemic level in 2021, compared to less than 20% in 2020.
Unlike Italy and France, Spain does not require proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test to enter restaurants or bars, meaning unvaccinated visitors can enjoy their vacation without taking tests every few days.
Nevertheless, the total number of arrivals was still far below the 8.8 million people who arrived in Spain in September 2019, before the coronavirus pandemic struck.
Tourists spent a total of 5.04 billion euros ($ 5.84 billion) in the country, up from 964 million euros the previous year but far from the 9.62 billion euros spent in September 2020 .
The Germans were the largest group of foreign travelers, followed by the British and French, according to the data.
($ 1 = € 0.8638)
(Report by Nathan Allen, edited by Inti Landauro and Angus MacSwan)