THE president of the Business Association of Travel agencies in Sevilla (Aevise), Jose Manuel Lastra, has assessed the implementation of a travel voucher for residents of Andalucia who choose to holiday in the southern region this summer. However, he does not deny that tourism will look very different from the norm due to the economic and social consequences brought on by the expansion of the coronavirus.
Lastra has acknowledged that the tourism industry is still “in a complex and dark” situation from which they will only emerge from if they manage to find “the right track.” In this sense, he has applauded the creation of this voucher, implemented by the Junta, which seeks to encourage tourism in the Andalucian region. However he has also noted that the government should not “leave out” travel agencies in the sector after the crisis.
The president of the Business Association of Travel Agencies has asked the Andalucian government to boost tourism through grants and programmes aimed at attracting specific audiences, such as the elderly or students. Lastra adds that this will not only contribute to the economic reactivation of the sector, but also the “physical and mental health” of citizens after the end of quarantine.
Many sectors of the economy have already given up their hopes for the summer season, however, the travel agency industry is optimistic and does not share their opinion. Although, “the situation is very affected and will not be normal for another year, we are hopeful that something can still be recovered,” Lastra explained.
Thus, Lastra concluded that the sector is approaching the situation with “reasonable illusion,” the possibility of going on holiday this year is still there albeit “in a different way” than before. The de-escalation phase is expected to begin in May and to adapt to this new reality, travel agencies are already working on adapted schedules and packages which ultimately aim to “not give up on holidaying.”