The final stretch of the year promises to be, unless the pandemic reactivates, the basis of the Economic recovery for 2022. Despite the fact that uncertainties still prevail and economic growth forecasts tend to moderate, in the environment business, commerce, catering and tourism prevails the optimism. The latest data from the commercial sector confirm that the influx of buyers has increased in recent months and the Black Friday, next Friday, is the main claim of that consumer euphoria. A few days later, the December bridge is presented as the litmus test for tourism, with 80% of the population vaccinated, without restrictions, with the borders open to the United States and a dammed travel demand.

“The December bridge has very good look, with figures that will remain at 20% of those of 2019 “, points out the CEO of one of the large Spanish hotel companies. The travel agency ‘on line’ Edreams Odigeo perceives an improvement in the situation, even with growths above 2019. The main trend will be the recovery of visits to big cities, cities such as Madrid or Barcelona, ​​which will once again be filled with families in search of Christmas shopping, while maintaining interest in indoor destinations, and tourism increases to Canary Islands, with Tenerife in the lead. That will be the keynote: proximity, but, already this year, outside the autonomous community.

The international tourism It is the great pending subject with the borders with Asia still closed, although the bridge and Christmas will also serve to measure the temperature of long-distance mobility after the opening of the United States (November 8). The president of the employer’s association Acave travel agencies recognizes that after having opened the doors of the United States and Thailand hope “to capture some reservations before the end of the year.”

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All of this occurs in the midst of sixth wave of the virus, with a moderate increase in the cumulative incidence in Spain (exceeds 100 cases per 100,000 inhabitants), while in some parts of Europe it soars, such as Austria which will confine its entire population as of Monday. The Secretary of State for Tourism, Fernando Valdes, defends that Spain “is in a very different situation” due to the high vaccination and the low rate of covid patients in hospitals and ICUs and rules out restrictions or conditions that interfere with the tourist experience. “We cannot face a situation in which interrupt mobility “assures Valdés, who is “reasonably optimistic” regarding the tourist recovery, although he adds that “there is still a long way to go and a lot to recover.”

Madrid and the Canary Islands

The first exam It arrives on the bridge of December and, although 80% of the occupation of 2019 is expected, the figures vary according to the area. “We see that there are areas with a considerable volume of reserves, such as Madrid and the Canary Islands, but there are others with very low demand, such as Costa del Sol”, explains the Secretary General of the Tourism Board, Carlos Albella. The fewer visits to Levante are attributed to the lack of international tourism, but also because the Imserso trips They haven’t started yet and won’t until mid-December at the earliest.

Coincide Iberia in which Madrid and the Canary Islands are the most popular destinations for the December and Christmas holidays, and the Balearic Islands are added. And also the hotel Riu that, although he acknowledges that it is too early to talk about reservations because national tourists plan their vacations with little advance notice, they expect a rebound in reservations in the Canary Islands and in the capital of Spain. “In Madrid you can clearly see the december bridge effect and the hotel (Riu Plaza de España) will be full “, explain sources from the firm.

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Inland tourism

Inland tourism also improves its figures. According to the portal Reservation requests are 75% of those received in 2019 and have increased by 50% compared to 2020. Last year the December bridge was framed in the middle of tough regional restrictions The only option was to travel within the community. “Madrid is the main issuer of travelers, so the closures made the people of Madrid had to stay in the community and greatly increased the reserves in their towns, “explains its communication manager, Aroa Salazar.

This year, on the other hand, the capital is in the sixth position in the ranking with just over 5% of the reserves. The most requested are Castile and Leon (19,30%), Catalonia (18,40%), Andalusia (14,45%), Castilla la Mancha (10,10%) and Aragon (7.25%). Among the towns with the highest demand are Sant Pere de Vilamajor (Barcelona), Cazorla (Jaén), Cangas de Onís (Asturias), Burgohondo (Madrid), Larráun (Navarra), El Berrueco (Madrid), Vilanova de la Muga (Girona) and Hornos (Jaén).

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Other countries

Although national tourism will predominate during the bridge, the Iberia airline has noticed a “strong demand” for flights to the United States, to some Caribbean destinations, such as the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, and the Maldives. Meanwhile, from the Logitravel travel agency, which will register a 40% growth in trips after collapsing 95% last year, the most requested destinations for the bridge are, in this order, Rome, Paris and Tenerife.

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