British tourists must be welcomed with ‘open arms’ post-Brexit says Spain tourism boss

Simon Calder outlines five tips for booking a staycation online

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Manuel Butler, head of the Spanish Tourism Office in London, said numbers of UK tourists should be back at pre-pandemic levels this summer. He said: “We have to welcome British tourists with open arms this first post-Brexit summer.”

Although Brexit rules were in place last summer, due to Covid restrictions many Britons did not travel abroad.

Butler said he was aware that Britons could face delays at airport passport control this summer.

Britons now need to have their passport stamped on entry and exit to Spain and cannot use the same lanes as EU tourists.

Portugal recently decided to allow British tourists fast-track entry to the country using e-gates.

However, Butler said he didn’t see anything positive about Portugal’s decision and said he has no information to suggest that Spain will do the same.

He said: “The effect might be neutral or it might be negative, we will have to see.”

Tourists visiting Portugal will still need to have their passport stamped on entry and exit so it is thought only one part of the arrival process will be streamlined.

Butler said that he felt British tourists were more concerned about sustainability now than in previous years.

He said that tourists choosing between two holidays with a similar price tag would likely opt for the more sustainable option.

Butler advised hotels on the Costa del Sol to demonstrate how they had reduced energy consumption and carbon footprints.

The tourism boss added that Spain is unlikely to be overly affected by a lack of Russian tourists.

Resorts in Turkey are much more popular with the Russian market than areas such as the Costa del Sol or Costa Blanca.

The Costa del Sol and Costa Blanca are two of the UK’s most popular tourist destinations and many are eager to travel there this year.

UK tourists will face new rules in some of their favourite resorts this year as Spain cracks down on drunken tourism.

Tourists in areas of Ibiza and Majorca including Magaluf will no longer be able to take part in boozy pub crawls or boat parties.

The Balearic islands have introduced the rules to prevent drunk and rowdy behaviour in the resorts.

Over the last decade, Spanish resorts have hit the headlines for tourist fights and obscene public acts.

In the Costa Blanca, Benidorm tourist officials have protested that a proposed tourist tax in the Valencia region could deter British tourists from visiting.

The tax would be optional and would cost tourists around £1 a night if implemented in Benidorm.

Tourism bosses have vowed never to introduce the tax in the resort which they said was proposed by people who “hate tourism”.

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