Spain is eagerly awaiting the arrival of tourists from the UK who come to the country to soak up the culture and learn the language in specialised schools such as Expanish. According to Airef figures, hopes are pinned on this type of tourist, especially from countries with successful vaccination campaigns with high percentages inoculated against Covid-19 and all its variants.
It is clear that Spain remains one of the favourite places for British tourists and progress in vaccination will encourage the arrival of new students interested in learning Spanish in a Spanish school in Barcelona, Madrid or Málaga.
In short, the UK remains one of Spain’s main tourism providers throughout the year. According to INE figures, it is estimated that around 18 million British citizens arrived in the country in 2019, equivalent to 22% of all foreign tourists. Meanwhile, the Germans and French complete the top three foreign tourists with 13.4% and 13.3% respectively.
It is worth noting that due to the severe restrictions as a result of Covid-19, the arrival of British tourists to Spain fell to 3.2 million, being relegated by the 3.9 million French tourists interested in Spanish courses for foreigners in Madrid.
Tourism prospects for 2022
The Commercial Director of Expanish analyses that «The expectation is not at 2019 levels in the first Spanish quarter, but better than any destination in Europe, as it is a safe and close destination. It is positive that Spain is with high levels of vaccination because it is a safe place to travel and it proved it in the summer«.
Given this situation, Europeans are going to look for nearby and safe places, as they are not going to take risks as they did this year, so Spain benefits when planning future holidays. There is also another important variable: people who have not been able to travel much, such as students who have not been able to travel due to fear or restrictions, will be reactivated, producing greater demand.
The advance of domestic tourism in 2021 and the arrival of the first foreign tourists during the summer was a good precedent that, according to Transfer Malaga, will be sustained during 2022. Although the recovery is not risk-free, the pandemic seems to be under control and Spain would be in a position to resume its leading role in tourism.
Tour operators support this position and the outlook for next year is encouraging. The biggest question mark will be over the recovery of Asian tourism, whose interest in visiting Europe waned after the pandemic. However, South America and the cities of the European Union themselves are already preparing to enjoy all that Spain has to offer.
Health corridors and digital certificates
With the aim of achieving safe holidays, health corridors between different countries will be the recipe for success for the 2022 season. To this end, nations continue to raise awareness and strengthen health policies to vaccinate as many people as possible.
On the other hand, the digital COVID certificate will be one of the tools that health authorities will have at their disposal to efficiently control the arrival between different jurisdictions in order to guarantee a 100% safe and infection-free stay, while rapid tests prior to embarkation may be a good alternative to improve the traceability of the virus.