By Eugene Costello
VALENCIA remains open for visitors, with COVID restrictions more relaxed than most other regions, insists tourist chiefs.
The city has been praised by businessmen and tourists alike for its ‘sensible’ approach, which has kept the economy running as best as possible.
“Life goes on and we must move forward,” insisted Antonio Bernabé, director of the Turismo Valencia Foundation, to the Olive Press.
“We have struck a good balance between keeping life normal and keeping it safe.”
While tourism is down 80% on last year, the tourist boss says all activities, including cinemas and museums, are open.
Best of all, unlike much of Spain, locals and tourists must only stay in between midnight and 6am.
“It’s a great time to discover the city as there are no queues,” adds Bernabe.
“We take the pandemic seriously, but we also believe in the right to have a full life.”
Currently few places in the Comunidad face tough restrictions due to high infection rates.
The city meanwhile, has developed an activity card called Valencia On, an app anyone can download, not just aimed at tourists.
Run by Visit Valencia it offers a huge range of discounts for museums, events, restaurants, transport and even hotels. You can find it at www.valenciaon.com, and it is completely free.
Roland Wareham, 55, a company director from Andalucia, was impressed by how well the city was handling the pandemic.
On a business trip from his native Mijas this week, he said: “I was struck by how normal life seemed. In Ruzafa, all the bars and restaurants were open, and the terraces were crowded with families and friends enjoying the al fresco lifestyle.
“In Andalucia, meanwhile, bars and restaurants must close by 6pm, and my town is like a ghost town at night.
“Valencia should serve as a blueprint for the rest of Spain.”