Canaries call for urgent action to save winter season or face “economic collapse”
Hoteliers in the Canaries are calling for urgent action to save the winter season after admitting that the coronavirus pandemic has wiped out the summer.
They want holidaymakers to be tested at their
departure and arrival airports in place of the UK’s 14-day quarantine rule for
Brits returning from Spain and for all other international tourists.
President of the hotel association, Jorge
Marichal says the summer season was wiped out by the British government’s
decision and has led to mass cancellations and the suspension of operations
with the Canary Islands by the main British tour operators until the end of
August, “by which time the summer season is practically lost”.
But he says quick action will save the winter
from going the same way, warning: “We cannot run the risk of also losing
the 2020-2021 winter season or we will be doomed to an unprecedented economic
crisis in the Canary Islands, with unemployment figures higher than 40% of the
population and from that, we will hardly recover in many years.”
The organisation headed by Mr. Marichal,
Ashotel, covers hoteliers in Tenerife, as well as the islands of La
Palma, La Gomera and El Hierro.
Mr. Marichal says the islands are going
through a critical situation but Ashotel believes there is still time to adopt
measures to save the winter season and avoid an economic collapse in the
“But these measures must be taken now,
imminently. We have to react or many other countries will continue to recommend
their nationals not to come to the Canary Islands,” he said.
One of the main measures still being pressed
for is coronavirus tests for holidaymakers before they leave and when they
arrive in order to guarantee safer travel and give confidence to tourists and
local residents alike.
Mr. Marichal said hotel had gone to enormous
measures to implement coronavirus safety regulations.
“But none of this will be effective if we
do not guarantee that the tourists we so badly need to receive are free of the
virus; this situation may worsen as of September,” he said. “If we do
not do it, we will soon follow the path of many other peninsular destinations
that face, after a null summer season, layoffs, company closures, social unrest
and an unprecedented economic collapse.”