The director of the Spanish Tourist Office said he is hopeful of a “swift revision” of the UK government’s travel restrictions to parts of Spain.

Javier Piñanes said the UK government’s decision to impose travel restrictions on British visitors to Spain has hurt the biggest outbound market “hugely”.

Speaking to Travel Weekly, he backed calls for regional restrictions which would allow non-restricted travel to areas of low risk, such as the Canary Islands, supported by epidemiological evidence.

He said: “We respect the decisions made by the UK government but our preference would be that decisions are made solely and exclusively on epidemiological criteria on a regional basis rather than a nationwide policy.


MoreSpanish Tourist Office: ‘We want quarantine restrictions lifted to low-risk areas’


“There are very popular destinations in Spain which have extremely low infections rates, such as the Canary Islands, well below the figures in the United Kingdom and our objective would be that the current travel advice and quarantine measures are lifted for those specific regions.”

Piñanes said there was “ongoing dialogue” between the two countries’ governments, adding: “We would certainly hope for a swift revision of the current advice”.

But he accepted that any decisions “will be based in the evolution of the crisis not just in Spain but also in the UK”, and said Spain endorses “policies based on safety and scientific evidence”.

Asked how much the UK government’s decision to impose quarantine on people arriving from Spain and warning Brits against all but essential travel to the entre country was damaging the country’s tourism sector, he said: “Hugely.

“Tourism is one of our primary industries and there are many regions such as the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Andalucía, the region of Valencia and many places in northern Spain that rely on tourism with the UK being one of the top source markets. We had hoped that tourism returning in the peak summer period could help to recoup some of the lost revenue from the impact of the pandemic early on in the season.”

Piñanes thanked the UK travel industry for their lobbying efforts and support in calling for safe areas of Spain to be restriction-free.

He said: “Our relationship stretches back for many years and we are proud of our shared history and mutual love of each other’s countries. We thank the UK travel industry for their lobbying efforts and we look forward to welcoming British visitors again soon.”

MoreSpanish Tourist Office: ‘We want quarantine restrictions lifted to low-risk areas’