Spain pins hopes on vaccine passports to revive summer tourism

Passport, along with pre-travel Covid tests, would bring back waves of British tourists, officials say

Nerja, Costa del Sol, Malaga Province, Andalusia, southern Spain, View from the Balcon de Europa, or Balcony of Europe, to the Playa Calahonda, Calahonda beach), It is the height of the season and the beach is packed with holiday makers. (Photo by: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
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Spain hopes introducing vaccination passports and pre-travel Covid-19 testing will allow British tourists to return for holidays this summer, a tourism ministry official said on Tuesday.

"We support the vaccination certificate but not as the only way to recuperate mobility; rather, as one of the means within a portfolio of measures including social distancing, pre-travel tests, mask-wearing," the source told Reuters.

The government has no plans to introduce quarantines on foreign visitors, and was counting on a wider agreement between Europe and Britain to remove restrictions on non-essential travel, the official said.

Over 2020, as global travel was dramatically curtailed by the coronavirus pandemic, tourists to Spain, one of the world's most visited countries, fell 80 per cent to 19 million, a level not seen since 1969.

The industry's contribution to gross domestic product tumbled to  between 4 and 5 per cent, according to estimates from Funcas think tank analyst Maria Jesus Fernandez, from a 12 per cent share in 2019.