Holidays in the Canaries will be very different in the future
Government officials in the Canaries have issued an alert about the future look of the tourism industry in islands, with holidays taking on a new look.
Minister of Tourism, Yaiza Castilla says
millions of pounds will have to be spent on “updating and modernising
procedures, measures, equipment and infrastructures in terms of protection and
security against Covid-19 throughout the tourist value chain”.
She has warned that tourists will have to
understand “a new way of travel” and that everything associated with
holidays will need an urgent redesign, including hotels, transport, leisure
products, shops and the way tourists are supervised at their destination.
“It should be remembered that until a
vaccine is administered in a generalised way, or the majority of the population
is already immune, and this will suppose a long period of not less than 18
months, normality will not return to the travel environment,” said the
tourism chief. “Even then, the subsequent picture will be different.”
Despite having a low death toll of 107 and
being one of the Spanish regions less affected by coronavirus, the Canary
Islands expect to end the year with a total of just three million tourists,
rather than the usual 15 million.
All hotels, restaurants, pubs, clubs, tourist
attractions, shopping malls and beaches are currently closed under the State of
Emergency which runs until April 26th but may then be extended further until
May 10th. There are currently more than 19,000 deaths from coronavirus in Spain
as a whole.
In a call for emergency aid, Yaiza
Castilla hinted at the assumption that self-distancing will still be
necessary during the so-called exit procedures from the crisis and the
subsequent after-math when holidaymakers are allowed back into Spain. This will
include the beaches, as already confirmed by the Spanish Government.
She said the Canaries had to take advantage of
the tourist break to “adapt procedures, equipment and infrastructure”
and called for financial support so the destination “is able to reopen as
soon as possible with guarantees”.
Yaiza Castilla said they were already
working with authorities, such as the World Health Organisation, to
“prepare the tourism sector for the day after the confinements and for
which it will be necessary to adopt new measures”.
The Canary Government is calling for at least
20 million euros to help finance updating projects.
There has been speculation that the islands
might be the first to “reopen to tourists” but the Canary government
says it will not go it alone and will totally abide to Spain’s orders.