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Ajankohtaista tietoa Espanjan matkailusta

Olemme keränneet Suomen matkailuelinkeinolle ajankohtaista tietoa, tilastoja ja muuta hyödyllistä materiaalia Espanjasta matkailumarkkinana.

Current situation

From February 8th, 2021, all passengers who come from a high-risk country/area in relation to coronavirus, must present, in order to enter Spain, a certificate with a NEGATIVE PCR result (COVID-19 RT-PCR), carried out in the 72 hours before arrival. The countries and areas in European Union/European Economic area are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Sweden.

All passengers are required to complete an "FCS Health Control Form", a QR code that must be presented upon arrival. All passengers are subject to medical screening upon arrival.

The border between Spain and Portugal will be closed until February 10th, due to the accumulated number of cases in both countries.

Travelers to Spain are not currently subject to any quarantine requirement unless directed by Spanish authorities upon arrival in Spain due to specific circumstances.

You can travel to Spain if you are traveling from the European Union, from a country in the Schengen area, or from another country that has a reciprocal agreement with Spain for accepting travelers. This last group comprises Australia, Canada, China, Georgia, Japan, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay.

In general, there are restrictions on people circulating at night, the times vary depending on each Autonomous Region. This measure does not apply in the Canary Islands.

Spain belongs to the 'extreme risk' coronavirus scenario, according to latest Health Ministry report. On Wednesday 3rd of February 14-day cumulative incidence was 841 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. Infections are up, and Spain is currently in the peak of the third wave.

Spain entered the third wave of the coronavirus in early January, around the same time as other European countries.

The most common restrictions in Spain include:
• A nighttime curfew
• Public or private gatherings limited between 2-6 people, depending on the Autonomous Region.
• Limited movement to and from many locations unless it is for a legitimate and essential purpose, such as work, medical reasons, education and training, returning to your residence, taking exams, helping the elderly, minors or disabled people, banking, insurance, legal, or administrative matters, and any emergency or force majeure situations
• Limited capacity in religious facilities, funeral homes, shops, restaurants, and bars.
• Restaurants, bars and hotels have been shut down, depending on the Autonomous Region.

Border restrictions: Spain is on the list of countries subject to Category I border restrictions, for which internal border controls are maintained (border controls for Schengen countries).

People from EU or Schengen countries can enter Spain, as can those on the EU-approved list of third countries. As of November 19th this includes China. All visitors have to undergo health checks on arrival.

The list is reviewed every 15 days.

Quarantine rules: Spain as most European countries is included in the red category I of the "traffic light system" established by the Finnish health authorities, recommending from October 12 to travelers from Spain 10 days of quarantine upon arrival in Finland (before 14 days). From October 1st, it is not necessary to quarantine by undergoing two coronavirus tests. One max 72 hours before flight or upon arrival at airport and the second one 72 hours after arrival. Travelers staying in Finland for less than three days (less than 72 hours) should not be quarantined or take a second test, if they have a negative PCR test 72 hours before the initial travel has begun.

Flights: Now Finnair is the only airline flying direct from Spain, Málaga to Helsinki; nevertheless, it is expected that they will resume the operations from Spain, including MAD/ BCN and also Balearic and Canary Islands from summer 2021 onwards. Lufthansa is flying to Spain since June 1st 2020, connecting MAD / BCN via FRA/ MUC daily to HEL. KLM / AF started to fly to Spain beginning May connecting HEL daily from MAD/BCN.

Charter flights scheduled for December 2020 from MAD/BCN mainly to KAO, IVL and RVN in Lapland were cancelled due to border restrictions.

Big TO´s started to schedule winter 2021 charter flights for KAO/KTL from MAD/BCN.

Consumer behaviour

According to the latest report from the European Travel Commission (ETC) "Monitoring Sentiment for Domestic and Intra-European Travel" in December 2020, preferred countries for next intra-european travel, Spain is further positioned as number 1 preferred destination.
Following a recent study from the European Traveller Intelligence Monitor, the most important factor among Spaniards when choosing a destination is security standards (49% of travellers) and costs at the destination (16%).

One of the clearest trends in the process of planning and choosing destinations for Spanish travellers is the need for certainty. 65% of Spaniards consider sanitary measures the most important factor when choosing a destination.

Thus, for 2021, 37% of Spanish travellers will choose sun and beach plans, 28% will opt for cultural experiences, 16% will opt for cruises and 13% for multi-destination itineraries; while the remaining 6% will look for winter sports destinations.

According to the Spanish travel trade, corporate travel, domestic holidays, and mid-haul will be the first segments to recover in Spain. Predictions say that Spain as a destination will experience the fastest recovery with Italy, France, and Portugal.

Overall, and based to the type of trips that travellers are booking behavior that shows the diverse interests of the country, agents and tour operators consider Europe to be the region that will recover first. In the case of Spain, agents expect Europe (33%) and Asia (30%) to lead the demand for international travel.

As for product segments, among Spanish travellers, once normality is restored, culture and heritage, nature, big cities, and wellness will be the most sought-after experiences, both in domestic and international travel.

Safety is priority number one for the Spanish traveller; our travel partners have detected an increasing demand for sustainable and non-mass tourism products where the country's authorities and society are involved in these policies. Finland should take this opportunity to increase Spanish consumers' perception of a safe and sustainable destination; both tourism development policies must go hand in hand.

The economy will fall into deep recession this year amid the Covid-19 fallout. The vital tourism sector is set to languish amid the collapse in visitors and lingering travel restrictions. Next year, output is seen rebounding strongly in line with reviving activity. Economy experts foresee that the economy shrinking 12.2% in 2020. For 2021, they project GDP to grow 7.2%, which is up 0.1 percentage points from last month's forecast.

Spanish Government presented The Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan claiming it would allow for an annual growth in GDP of 2.5 percentage points between 2021 and 2023. This plan goal is to create 800,000 jobs over the next three years through an investment of €72bn of European funds.

The plan is based around four broad areas: the ecological transition, digitalization, gender equality and social cohesion.
According to latest survey published by CIS (Center for Sociological Research) Spain's consumer confidence indicator declined by 0.4 points from the previous month to 49.5 in September 2020, the lowest since December 2012, amid concerns about a resurgence in COVID-19 cases and its impact on the country's economic recovery and labor market.

Future Outlook

Tourism policy in Spain is moving the Spanish tourism model towards the principles of sustainability, innovation and knowledge. The broad aim is to develop a smart and specialized high quality product, fit for the digital age according to the new Strategy of Sustainable Tourism for 2030

Aspects such as insurance that guarantees the safety, healthy or potential contingencies during trips, cancellation and refund policies, together with total flexibility and personalization or 24-hour assistance are and will be, as Spanish travel professionals and intermediaries point out, the aspects to which travelers will give the greatest importance and which will be key to boosting reservations in the short and medium term.

According to a recent study "Travel Trends in the Spanish Market" for Online Searches in 2020 shows when Spanish users are currently thinking about travelling continentally in percentage per summer months in comparison to the advanced searches this time last year. August is now the most searched month along with June while September becomes a more interesting search over last year at this point, indicating an increase in long term planning.

87% of Spaniards are willing to travel this year; almost 30% of this share will be for European destinations. From the point of view of travel agencies, post-covid tourism seen as an opportunity to reposition destinations that favor sustainable tourism and have resources that allow future visitors to enjoy nature in a safe environment.

  • Safety and sustainability must go hand in hand when promoting a destination according to professionals in the tourism sector.
  • Digitalization as a key element for the future business development in the commercialization of products in travel agencies in a post-covid era.
  • Omnichannel strategy approach: travel brands will be able to personalize the passenger experience and provide travelers with the right offer, through the right channel, during the entire journey. Know the customer at each stage of their journey. Identify underlying traveler needs and tailor the value proposition of each channel to the customer base.

Traveler segments already called the agencies for their summer holidays are mainly families and couples; summer holidays. Nature and cultural tourism is gaining ground this summer to the "classic" sun and beach tourism in Spain. This could be an opportunity for Finland as a nature destination. The demand for luxury and wellbeing, is increasing due to the security of the exclusive, according to several travel agencies specialized in luxury and experiential travel and part of Traveler Made Network

Summer 2021: Tour operators are still not very confident about selling small groups for Finland in summer, mainly August. This will depend on how connectivity will be restored mainly by AY. There is a greater interest from travel agencies to create more product to Finland; another seasons of the year such as this summer and another regions of the country. Tourism demand expected to start its recovery from July onwards at a domestic level until August-September. There could be some traffic to Finland in September–October from nature hunters and from luxury travel segment depending on whether exogenous factors are favorable to the future traveler: Safe tourist corridors between European countries, uplifting travel bans, availability of air connections and product balance: competitive pricing

Winter 2020-21: Despite the efforts to try to save the high winter season 2020 mainly in Lapland, tour operators have been forced to cancel their charter flights due to restrictive entry conditions to Finland and the negative evolution of the pandemic throughout Europe, especially after of the summer

Nevertheless, they continue to trust in the recovery of our destination and they already started the promotion of Lapland 2021 as well as summer in Finland counting on our local advise and support from VisitFinland team in Spain.

Sale of charter flights to Lapland in winter will be put up for sale in February for the retailers.

The demand for the Lapland product has not stopped growing since the summer. Travel Agencies have been very active in the market with several campaigns promoting Lapland giving a clear message to their customers to book with confidence and giving flexibility when changing or canceling your itinerary.

There is great confidence in the travel trade that the winter season in Lapland can be marketed, largely motivated by demand that could not be served in winter 2020.

Finland's USP's: Trade partners market Finland as a Safe & Sustainable country, Unspoiled Nature-Cleanest air & water, Experience "Natural Luxury", slow life in nature.

Travel trade update

Spanish travel trade intermediation expects to work in a scenario where travel budgets will be reduced by between 30% and 50%. In this regard, it is essential to understand the priorities and conditions of travelers when they decide on the destinations to which they will travel, to offer alternatives that optimize spending and give certainty to tourists.

Aspects such as insurance that guarantees the safety, healthy or potential contingencies during trips, cancellation and refund policies, together with total flexibility and personalization or 24-hour assistance are and will be, as European agents and intermediaries point out, the aspects to which travelers will give the greatest importance and which will be key to boosting reservations in the short and medium term.

FITUR, 3rd largest Tourism Fair in the world, rescheduled the dates of its 41st edition in 2021 : 19 to 23rd May 2021. IBTM, World´s leading global event for the meetings and events industry was held virtually in December 2020.

CEAV, one of the main travel agency associations, promotes the digitization of its services among its partners as a consequence of the covid-19 crisis. Barceló and Globalia travel agencies to resume merger in autumn; this group will consist of 1500 points of sale throughout Spain. It is expected that after the covid crisis, In the distribution channels there will be consolidation and specialization. Travel agencies accelerate its reopening; most of them are already opened since mid-June.

Published "Good Practices Guidelines for the Tourism Sector": this guide (produced by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, coordinated by the Ministry of Health and with industry participation) is a tool to help guarantee activity within businesses or workplaces and also to protect the health of their staff and clients. MICE travel association are leading in the tourism sector the establishment of common protocols of action to guarantee their operations as "covid safe".

About 90% of travel agency employees affected by a temporary employment regulation file that the government has just extended until May 31st 2021. Because most travel agents are working from home, there has been exponential growth in training needs; a large number of suppliers including DMO´s have provided content to meet this demand. According to CEAV, main association of travel agencies in Spain, travel agencies will regain importance in their intermediation work by helping the potential buyer increase their sense of security at the time of purchasing certain kind of trips. New technologies such as VR (virtual reality) will greatly help the new traveller profile that will want to have more certainty about its futuretrip. Digitalization: great opportunity for the trade to boost new digital tools utilization.
Which products / regions are most interesting to the buyers?

According to a recent survey, more than 48 % of generation X (between 40 and 55 years old) will choose nature tourism; more than 41 % of seniors (55 years old onwards) will choose health and wellbeing tourism. Lapland is the key destination for wintertime: families with children / luxury travel. For 2021, we have the opportunity to develop the "undiscovered & unspoiled" Finland: Lakeland & Coastal-Archipelago.

Updated 5.2.

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Heli Saari

+358 40 564 2780

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David Campano

+34 634 718 855

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