Spain–the world’s No.2 travel destination–is reopening its borders to foreign tourists in July. Spain was also one of the worst hit by the coronavirus. Now as it emerges from one of the continent’s toughest lockdowns, foreign tourism has become part of the equation.
“As of July, Spain will be expecting you,” declared Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez Saturday. “The moment has arrived …Foreign visitors can now start planning their holidays to Spain.”
Joy and sadness. The announcement came together with that of an official period of mourning in the country, lasting 10 days. (And news that the national top-tier football tournament, La Liga, can resume from June 8).
Just a week back, there was no clear horizon for Spanish holidays to return. Not without the threat of a 2 week quarantine on arrival. A measure in place since May 24, when borders reopened. (This as EU land and air borders, temporarily closed to corona, start to tumble ready for summer tourism).
But now the country is welcoming tourists back with open arms, like some neighbors are, in hopes for economic salvation. On top of suffering a huge health blow from the corona crisis, the blow to Spanish tourism has been huge. After France and ahead of the U.S., this is the world’s second most visited tourism destination. Lured by a heady mix of golden beaches, party islands, and rich culture and history, 80 million foreigners visit each year.