Tourists from many countries, including Russians, chose Spain for their summer holidays before the restrictions and sanctions. Russian travelers made up a significant part of the holidaymakers in this popular country, but now the lack of tourist flow from Russia is noticeably felt in the resort region of the Costa del Sol and other southern areas of the kingdom, Spanish media reported. The authorities of the resort towns are worried about disrupted vacations amid the aggravation of the situation around Ukraine, but they are looking forward to Russian tourists.
Thus, the publications quoted the general director of tourism of the Marbella City Council, Laurc de Arce, who said that although “it is too early to talk about how all this will affect the tourism sector,” however, the lack of Russian tourism has been acutely noticeable over the past two years, because . “Russian tourists could not travel because of the pandemic.” In 2019, the last good year before the coronavirus pandemic, more than 1.3 million Russian tourists visited Spain, according to the National Institute of Statistics. This number began to drop sharply during the pandemic. And now it has completely fallen to critically low values under the conditions of sanctions and the closed European sky for Russian aircraft.
However, according to the official, a large number of Russian citizens still live in Marbella, who own real estate in the city. “Many of them spent the pandemic here, or part of it, and currently continue to live here,” she clarified.
When asked if the lack of guests from Russia is a cause for concern and whether she is worried about this, The CEO replied, “Of course. Both markets (Russian and British) are key markets for Marbella.”
“We are currently going through moments of uncertainty due to the situation in Ukraine, but we want to be optimistic and hope that the crisis does not last long and that the peace we all desire so much comes soon and that it will ensure stability in the markets. If so, then according to the forecasts and studies we have, next summer season could be a historic summer with even better data than before the pandemic,” said Marbella Mayor Ángeles Muñoz.
The mayor of the popular city of Costa del Sol added: “Marbella offers those who come to visit us fantastic opportunities for recreation and entertainment in all areas, with a unique tourist offer and exceptional safety and health measures at all times. Our city is ready to welcome guests and offer them a unique experience.”
However, after more than two years of forced downtime and uncertainty about the future, Spanish tourism, and Marbella in particular, has focused on attracting other markets: the Middle East and US Spanish authorities launched a full-scale advertising campaign.
As the officials noted, after several years with a very low level of employment, only British tourists will be able to save the summer of 2022 in Marbella. To reach the pre-Covid levels of 2019, “it is vital that Britons return.”
“This year British tourists will be able to travel without restrictions, so we are confident that this will help us fill the lack of tourism from other markets. British tourists, along with national tourists, are our main visitors and we are confident that this summer will be incredibly successful,” she said.
“The profile of the Russian tourist is adapting to the two types that Marbella attracts: travelers who travel during the high season in search of the beach, sea activities, relaxation, gastronomy and everything else that makes our destination a unique place to diversify its offer. And those tourists who prefer to visit us at this time of the year with less influx of holidaymakers to enjoy the excellence of our services and the quality of life in Marbella in a more exclusive way,” explained the head of tourism of the resort town and invited our compatriots to her famous resorts.
Russian tourists chose mainly Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Andalusia. The latter includes the aforementioned resort town of Marbella and the Costa del Sol region. Usually Russians traveled with their families, and hotels and shops rated them highly because of their solid spending on vacation: for example, luxury stores of clothing and other goods felt this.
Speaking about how the price increase will affect UK holidaymakers and whether they will be canceling their summer holidays to prioritize other spending, she said: “The price increase we are seeing at the moment is affecting everyone. However, it is true that a British tourist who visits Marbella often has a higher purchasing power, so although they will also suffer from price increases, they will not suffer as much as the rest.
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