Tourism couldn’t be more important to Spain.
It’s the second most visited country in the world, behind only France.
The holiday sector employs about one in eight of the nation’s workers.
No surprise then if the government is worried about this year’s holiday season.
On Thursday (June 18) Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez announced a package of financial support for the sector: "It is urgent for us to put it into action because it is crucial to make recovery possible.
I think the good news is that, thanks to the evolution of the epidemic, we have been able to bring forward the reopening of borders, for example with the Schengen countries next Saturday, and to mitigate as far as possible the adverse effects of the pandemic on activity and ensure the continuity and competitiveness of the sector.” The financial aid is valued at 4.25 billion euros - about 4.8 billion dollars.
The lion’s share of that will go on loan guarantees for holiday firms. A few foreign visitors are already touching down.
Monday (June 15) saw a select group of German holidaymakers land on the island of Mallorca.
They’re part of a pilot project that will bring over 10,000 visitors to track how mass tourism can work in a time of contagion.
British visitors may not have it so easy.
Earlier this week Spain said it was still thinking about whether to quarantine arrivals from the UK.
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