Alicante has stood up to the third wave of the virus; something that is clear from recent figures where the province, despite a minor increase, maintains an incidence of less than 27 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, a figure that is below that of most European countries.
Among them, Portugal has about 60 cases of incidence, with the United Kingdom recording 78 cases and Russia with 82.
According to the Regional Secretary for Tourism, Francesc Colomer, “This is a situation that makes the Province an “island” to which tourists can travel as long as the situation continues and in compliance with all sanitary measures.”
These are proposals now being made by both Turisme and also the hospitality, hotel and travel sectors: to insist once again the need to open safe corridors, so that visitors can return to the Costa Blanca.
The idea is not new. In fact, it has been on the table for many months but the arrival of the third wave and the increase in cases forced it to be put on the ‘back burner’ and the Consell once again to extend the restrictive measures.
But now, after the storm, and with the numbers of infections almost minimal the Consell is working once again to open these corridors, according to Colomer.
Before the third wave, this option was raised with the Secretary of State but “it was stopped because of the data that was gradually rising.” Now, “it has been taken up once again, so that if the Government plans to return to that option, it will do so with us in the Valencian Community, as well as with the islands.”
The intention is that “the tourist dynamics start to rise again as soon as possible, always in step with the health situation and now also with the program of vaccinations.”
And the Hosbec hotel management association is moving along the same lines. The Secretary General, Nuria Montes, explained that “we have a safe corridor project that has been submitted and we are waiting for it to be authorised.”
Being able to have safe corridors with specific areas would be an advantage, both for the province and for the Community. But the problem is that, the United Kingdom “differentiates between Spain and the Islands” which especially hurts us on the Costa Blanca.
Right now the accumulated incidence in Spain is 199 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, but in the Community is 36 and in the province 25, according to the latest data updated by Health a few days ago. Hence, the idea of ”Benidorm Island” was raised together with Visit Benidorm and the City Council.
With it, safe routes to specific areas would be established with countries with the same incidence data and an exhaustive monitoring of tourists would be carried out. “People who come to Benidorm will stay in Benidorm”, hence the concept of the island. However, the project would not only cover the international sphere but could also be applied to the national level: “it would be a plan B in the event that the perimeter borders are not lifted.”
As long as the current, encouraging, data is maintained, the travel corridors will be an enormous advantage to raise with central government, something they will find difficult to ignore.