Little by little, companies in the international cruise sector have been recovering their activity. In SpainThis process has occurred more slowly than in other countries as a result of the prohibition that the Government maintained until the beginning of July that limited the arrival of foreign shipping companies. This has harmed some autonomous communities, as is the case of Andalusia and the Canary Islands, who have been left out of the travel program of Costa Cruises for the month of August.
While the company in the cruise sector has included Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca Within their stopovers in our country, the other two autonomous communities that were part of their traditional stops have been left out this year. This situation greatly harms a tourism sector that has been hit hard by the impact of the coronavirus health crisis and that it especially needs all the income that foreign tourists can generate.
Despite this bad news, the reality is that the demand from tourists who have reserved places or who have shown their interest in traveling on a cruise with a stopover in Spain has increased in recent weeks. In this situation, Costa Cruises has chosen to increase travel frequencies planned for this summer season due to the good reaction of the demand and the advance of the vaccination campaign.
In this way, the tourist demand has reacted better than what the companies in the cruise sector had anticipated. Thus, lreservations have multiplied in recent weeks before the arrival of summer and after the decision of the Spanish Government to reopen Spanish ports to international cruise traffic. It must be taken into account that Spanish ports have spent more than a year without receiving foreign tourists, and companies in the sector have been demanding for months that these trips be resumed.
On the other hand, it must be taken into account that despite the fact that the Executive has authorized the return of international cruises, it has established a series of measures and protocols that cruise companies have to comply with to be able to access the Spanish ports. Some of the aspects that companies will have to take into account when planning their stopovers are safety and prevention measures, gauges within the cruise ship facilities, and disinfection and protection equipment for both passengers and workers. .
Without aid to the sector
In addition, this bad news for the sector comes together with the fact that companies in the tourism sector have not yet received a single euro from the fund of € 7 billion in direct aid to small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) and the self-employed that the Government of Pedro Sánchez promised last March. Thus, despite the fact that four months have already passed, the most affected sectors have not yet received support from the Executive.
It is not the first time that employers and the main associations of the tourism sector have demanded that these aid be delivered to companies. However, it is surprising that when we are already in the middle of the summer campaign, companies and freelancers they haven’t seen any of this money yet. It must be taken into account that many of them are in a very weak situation and there are also thousands that have already closed their doors permanently.