Published on Thursday, July 30, 2020

'Deeply saddened' Lanzarote renews pleas for UK tourism re-think

Spanish tourism officials have continued to attack the decision to shut down tourism from the UK and again pleaded with British authorities to re-think their strategy.

Lanzarote Minister of Tourism Promotion Ángel Vazquez said he remains perplexed by the UK move to again place Spain on the do-not-travel list.

Travel to Spain from the UK was brought to a sudden halt last weekend when the FCO ruled out all non-essential travel, initially to mainland Spain before extending it to the Canary Islands and Balearics.

Vazquez said data published yesterday showed the Canary Islands has an accumulated infection rate of 2.41 per 100,000 people

"British tourists are a huge source market for us and are always welcome in Lanzarote," he said. "The change in the UK Government's travel advice will have a strong impact on our tourism sector which has already been hit hard over the last few months.

"We feel it is an unnecessary measure given the evolution and epidemiology of the crisis on the island and will have a detrimental impact on our tourism and hotel sector.

"We are looking forward to British visitors being able to visit us again without having to quarantine upon their return to the UK. To that effect, we want to emphasise the low case rates both in Lanzarote and the rest of the Canary Islands, which is much lower than the rest of the Spanish Peninsula as can be seen from the current data."

He said the current infection rates are "extremely low" and far better than most European countries where no travel ban is in place.

"Additionally, in Lanzarote we have our own detection protocol for possible cases which continue to be very few," Vazquez continued. "This detection protocol aims to detect positive cases or infections both at the airport, on passenger arrival as well as during their stay in their opted accommodation.

"This protocol has recently demonstrated its effectiveness meaning that UK visitors can have complete confidence and a guarantee that we can offer a rapid and rigorous health response.

"For this reason, we are deeply saddened by the travel advice and the decision to make quarantine mandatory for those who visit the island on their return.

"Prior to these measures announced by the UK government, around 50% of our hotel operations had returned and we were confident of increasing this figure in the coming months.

"For all of the above reasons, we urge the UK government to reconsider this quarantine measure for the Canary Islands, in the confidence that they will understand the objective reasons for our request."

He added that Lanzarote has invested heavily in tourism sector to restart operations safely.

"We also want to thank the UK travel companies that support Lanzarote. We will support our UK travel partners to the best of our abilities during this difficult time in the hope that very soon we can welcome British visitors once again."

By Steve Jones, Contributing Editor

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  • Lanzarote

    I think this is a ploy by the UK government to encourage UK holidaymakers to stay in rip off UK in order to boost the UK economy.

    By Trevor Phillips, Friday, July 31, 2020

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