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Spain expects Easter bounce to lift tourism to 80% of pre-COVID levels – Metro US

Spain expects Easter bounce to lift tourism to 80% of pre-COVID levels

FILE PHOTO: Pre-pandemic tourists sunbathe in El Arenal beach in
FILE PHOTO: Pre-pandemic tourists sunbathe in El Arenal beach in the island of Mallorca

MADRID (Reuters) – Spain expects international tourist arrivals to reach 80% of pre-pandemic volumes in the second quarter as northern Europeans shrug off concerns over the Ukraine conflict and return en masse for Easter, a senior tourism official said on Friday.

“Easter isn’t showing any direct impact from uncertainty caused by the conflict,” Secretary of State for Tourism Fernando Valdes said, adding that he was confident the industry would bounce back from the drop caused by the Omicron coronavirus variant in late 2021 and early 2022.

Any future hit from the war to Spanish tourism would depend on its duration and intensity, he told a news conference.

Bookings for the long Easter weekend have already reached 90% of 2019 levels, according to data from market-intelligence firm ForwardKeys he showed at the news conference.

Reservations from Denmark and Sweden were nearly 40% higher than over the same period before the pandemic, while the number is 26% higher for Germans and 13% for Britons, the data showed. The number of tourists from the United States is around 26% lower than in 2019.

The Balearic and Canary Islands are among the fastest recovering destinations, with Ibiza and Tenerife registering more Easter bookings than before COVID, the ForwardKeys data showed.

(Reporting by Corina Pons; Editing by Nathan Allen)

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