Spanish tourism minister in Brexit talks with Thomas Cook and Jet2

Published:  9 Nov at 6 PM
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UK tour operators and the Spanish tourism chief met in London earlier this week to ensure Spain’s future as a UK expat and tourism hub.

Spanish minister for industry, trade and tourism Reyes Maroto met up with CEOs from Jet2 and Thomas Cook to shore up Spain’s future as a tourism hub should a no-deal Brexit scenario become reality. Tourism contributes 11 per cent of Spain’s one trillion euro economy, with British visitors making up 25 per cent of total tourist numbers. Also threatened are UK expats resident in Spain who regularly return to the UK for family or business reasons.

According to Maroto, contingency plans for the worst scenario of a no-deal Brexit must be made, as Brexit is now a top priority for the Spanish government as well as for the Spanish expat community in the UK and Britons living, working or retiring in Spain. He added it’s essential that solutions of all possible problems which might arise must be put in place as soon as is possible in order to avoid chaos, loss of revenues and loss of tourism. British tourists, he said, need to be reassured that Spain as an attractive destination will still be fully accessible next year, and expats needing to travel regularly between the two countries also need reassurance.

Those attending the meeting understand it’s necessary to be optimistic, but time is now short and everyone needs to keep up the pressure on negotiators to resolve every issue still in the pending stage. Some 18 million British tourists are expected in summer 2019, and it’s impossible to predict the number of trips which will hopefully be made between the two countries by expat residents as well as second home owners.
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