Spain holiday bookings have quadrupled since the country’s prime minister told everyone to start planning their summer vacation.
Leading tourist businesses say reservations soared by 400 per cent after Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez uttered the words: “Start booking your summer holidays!”
Bookings are coming in at a “dizzying high rate”, according to the Alliance for Excellence in Tourism.
Vice-president José Luis Zoreda said: “There is more national and international demand today than we would have thought a month ago.”
And he added: “The desire to travel is gradually overcoming the fear of traveling.
The soaring bookings follow the Spanish government’s decision to allow international tourism to restart from July 1st and to scrap the 14-day quarantine rule.
The Alliance for Excellence in Tourism says the moment Pedro Sanchez said Spain was ready to welcome tourists again, reservations started to flood in and soared between 300 and 400 per cent.
Mr Zoreda says hard-hit companies which had been on the brink of closure also saw their share values substantially increase.
The Alliance is made up of the chairmen of nearly 30 Spanish tourist groups from airlines, cruises, hotels, travel agencies, tour operators, credit cards, rent-a-car, tourist and hospitals.
The Alliance president revealed more optimism for the future during a tourism web conference in Lloret de Mar.
He said the “shutter for European tourism” has been lifted but despite the interest being shown, there was “still a lot of hard work to do” and just three weeks to do it in.
Foreign tourists still needed to know how they could get to Spain and under what arrangements and what routes.
He also warned that Spain was still lagging behind its competitors, with Turkey, Portugal, Greece and Italy leading the way.
“Although more international demand is appearing, not all destinations are going to be favoured equally: here the position of each one will matter and also people will go where they feel most loved,” he said.
The mayor of Lloret de Mar, Jaume Dulsat said: “If we compare ourselves to the expectations of six months ago, at the World Travel Market in London, when an excellent 2020 could be expected, we are much worse. But compared to a month ago, I see light at the end of the tunnel.
“At a minimum, we know that on July 1 there will be open borders, at least by road. So there is a game to play. The news of the last 48 hours is generating positivity and the desire to travel among the people.”