Published On: Wed, Oct 16th, 2019

No deal Brexit to cripple Spanish tourism: Madrid told of £1.2bn hit if no agreement made | World | News

The number of Brits who flocked to the Costas dropped last summer as a result of the uncertainty surrounding the UK’s position in the EU, according to tourism lobby group Exceltur. And a no deal departure from the EU would lead to huge losses across the Spanish resorts that have always been so popular with the sunseeking British holidaymakers.

Exceltur said no deal would cost Spain £50million in lost tourism revenue for the remainder of this year and an eyewatering £1.162billion throughout 2020.

It said the 2019 summer season had already been hit by uncertainty in the UK, from where more than 18 million have visited Spain in the last two years.

Total sales to British tourists fell by 3 percent with popular sun, sand and sangria destinations such as the Canaries and Balearics suffering slumps of 5 percent and 1 percent respectively.

Exceltur said a no deal Brexit would see a collapse of 10 percent with the devaluation of the pound.

The group’s Executive Vice President José Luis Zoreda said this would translate to the loss of almost two million British tourists.

He said: “We expect a miracle on October 30.”

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A hard Brexit would add to the Spanish tourism sector’s misery following the collapse of Thomas Cook, the recovery of rival Mediterranean destinations, an economic slowdown and volatility in Catalonia.

Exceltur said travel firms anticipated a 37 per drop in income for the last quarter of 2019.

Tourism chiefs on the Costa Blanca reported a 3.2 percent drop in revenue per hotel room while their counterparts in Benidorm suffered a 5.2 percent slump

The Spanish Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Accommodation has said 1.3 million autumn and winter visitors will be unable to fly into Spanish destinations.

This will result, it says, in the shutting down of at least 500 hotels, generating losses to the tourism sector running into the hundreds of millions.

Spain’s government has announced a package of measures worth £260m including emergency credit lines and a reduction in airport fees, particularly for hubs in the Balearic and Canary islands, plus plans to spend hundreds of millions more in improving tourism infrastructure.

The Canary Islands is preparing for its high season as a popular winter sun destination, but the Spanish government calculates that 400,000 Thomas Cook travellers will not be reaching the islands after all.

Ramón Estalella, head of Spain’s leading hotelier association said: “We have the hotels here, open and waiting – but the customers can’t get here.”

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega


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