LARGE hotels throughout the Valencia region have finally begun reopening their doors again after a six-month ‘hibernation’ period.
The enforced closure was a result of the perimeter lockdown surrounding the whole Valencian Community – and other parts of Spain – as an anti-COVID precaution, which made the tourist trade largely unsustainable.
In Valencia city, Primus hotel with its 262 rooms will be the first to begin operating again on May 7- two days before the national state of alarm is dropped.
Others are being slightly more cautious. The luxury hotel chain Myr plans to reopen at the end of May, while Senator Parc Central, Melia Plaza, the five-star Caro and Expo Hotel are now taking bookings for June and July.
The announcement made recently by the Spanish government that the state of alarm will not be extended beyond the May 9 deadline has caused reservations for after that date to shoot up by 122%, according to travel agencies.
Many establishments are offering discounts of up to 30% with regards to prices from two years ago in a bid to attract customers.
Figures show that the three Spanish destinations with the most bookings so far are the Canary Islands with 24%, followed at some distance by Madrid (8%) and the Costa Blanca (6%).
In addition to the end of the national travel restrictions, hoteliers are placing great hopes in the advancing COVID vaccination campaign, which – if everything goes according to plan – should have more than half the Spanish population with at least one dose of the vaccine by mid-June.
The biggest source of uncertainty at the moment is British tourism, a key market for the region and especially the Costa Blanca, as it is impossible to predict how it will respond once the travel restrictions are lifted.
Meanwhile, other top tourist destinations that compete directly with the Valencian Community are already taking steps to attract visitors this summer.
The Greek authorities have announced plans to cancel the obligation for visitors from other countries, including Britain, to quarantine for seven days upon arrival.
Cyprus will reopen its borders to fully vaccinated British travellers, and Turkey has begun immunising workers within the tourism sector.
The race is on.