A leading Valencia region hotel association has pencilled in August 10 as the earliest day that a major influx of British tourists could start arriving for holidays.

125 representatives of local hotel and tourist businesses gathered at Benidorm’s Hotel Villaitana yesterday(June 16) for the HOSBEC Annual General Meeting.

HOSBEC president, Toni Mayor, said: “British tourism will not start to move until August due to UK travel restrictions.”

“If the restrictions are lifted in mid-July, then at least two or three more weeks will then go by, leading to the best case scenario of August 10 as the starting date for the arrival of UK tourists,” explained Mayor.

He admitted that things ‘could change’ if problems with the Indian COVID variant continue in Britain.

“It’s making life difficult for us,” Mayor observed.

In his speech, Mayor said that businesses would have to depend in the short-term on domestic bookings but also increased European trade once the EU COVID certificate is fully operational.

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A specially-commissioned CaixaBank report predicted a ‘strong recovery’ for local tourism for the second half of 2021.

Report co-ordinator, Javier Ibañez de Aldecoa, said: “Figures from the first two weeks of June show an appreciable rise in domestic bookings.”

“We expect the whole of 2021’s tourist activity to be at 50% of what it was in 2019, which will lay the foundations for 2022 being a very good year for the sector.”

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