24th May 2020 @ 9:07 am

Spain’s President Pedro Sánchez has said “there will be a tourist season this summer” and called on Spanish and foreign tourists to “plan their summer holidays.” He pledged that Spain would reopen to foreign tourists from July “in safe conditions”, and urged bars, restaurants, resorts and other establishments to recommence their activity.

Sánchez’s tourist minister, Teresa Ribera, also said that Spain was working on “safe corridors”, that would link areas within Spain of low risk together, while Portugal’s foreign minister, Augusto Santos Silva, has also said that such corridors are being negotiated between Spain , Portugal and France. 

Sánchez’s words were vague, and did not specify which tourist markets he had in mind, but it is clear that any re-opening to international tourism will also rely on the situation in other countries. Greece, for example, plans to open to foreign tourism in mid-June, but the Greek tourist minister recently said that the UK’s situation means it probably will not be among the nationalities permitted to come.

“Lanzarote is safe”

On Lanzarote, tourism councillor Ángel Vásquez has said that, in his opinion,  the lockdown exit strategy will not bring a tourist recovery this summer.

“The order for return of tourism  is regional, national, and international,” said Vásquez, “And that’s not going to benefit us, because we rely mainly on international and national tourism. In addition, we won’t benefit from national tourism because Madrid and Barcelona will be the last cities to leave the lockdown. 

Vásquez said that Lanzarote is ready to receive  a large amount of tourists but to do so “safe corridors” must be established, and called upon Sánchez’s government to allow the Canaries more leeway. “We have the attributes necessary to establish these corridors  and permit fifteen or twenty five thousand tourists to come to the island, which will help our economy.”

Vásquez said “We’re worried above all about the fear of flying, the fear of coming to contaminated destinations such as Spain. But it’s also true that Lanzarote and the Canaries have their own image. We want to let tourists know that Lanzarote is safe, a place where you can walk the streets, eat in restaurants and go to the beach, and the best way to do that is to show that we’re working normally.”

Arrecife car demo

Meanwhile, Arrecife saw its first protest against Sánchez’s leadership , as the Vox party organized a car demonstration through the city, tooting their horns and waving Spanish flags. A few dozen cars participated, causing blockages in parts of the capital.

The far right party called for the resignation of Sánchez: “The government protected its 8M (International Women’s Day demonstrations on 8th March) and sacrificed the lives of thousands of Spaniards,” it said in a press release. “Sánchez and Iglesias (deputy Prime Minister)  wish to destroy the productive base of the state so that citizens rely on the handouts of the government.”

They also complained that “the social-communistic government have exploited the COVID 19 crisis to restrict the liberties and rights of Spaniards.”