The World Tourism Organisation has heralded Spain as a world leader for its approach to restarting tourism after the pandemic lockdowns.
It comes as Spain announced a €4.25 billion package to support and stimulate its tourism industry.
As part of its efforts, Spain has also established a ‘tourism intelligence observatory’ to use real-time data to adapt policies and has earmarked €38 million for tourism promotion, for both international and domestic travellers.
Airports authority Aena has also agreed to cuts its landing charges.
“It is time to reactivate and to stimulate the tourism sector,” said Spanish President Pedro Sanchez unveiling the measures.
“Tourism is a strategic sector for our country. It is the backbone of our country and is a central part of our way of life. Tourism in Spain is not just something for others, it is ours.”
The head of the UNWTO attended a meeting with the Spanish President in Madrid on Thursday to learn about his government’s work to ease Covid-19 restrictions on travel.
The Spanish government has announced it will soon open its borders to tourists from within the European Union.
Secretary-General Pololikashvili said: “By restarting tourism, and doing so in a responsible manner that protects the most vulnerable while safeguarding jobs and economic growth, Spain can send a strong signal to the rest of the world. The country has long been a global tourism leader, and I thank President Sanchez for again stepping up and setting an example for other countries to follow.”
President Sanchez has signalled his intention to provide UNWTO a with a new headquarters that reflects tourism’s growing importance in the global agenda.