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Spain and Mexico exchange best practices for relaunch of safe travel

Tuesday 30 March 2021

Spain and Mexico held a bilateral forum to exchange best practices aimed at relaunching safe travel. The event was attended by the most senior figures responsible for tourism in their respective governments, the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organisation, Zurab Pololikashvili, and representatives from the tourism sector in the two countries.

When opening the event, the Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, said that, "in these times, our main management efforts should be focused on the three priorities that will define the future of tourism: accelerating the vaccination process and control of the pandemic, the development of safe travel certificates ("passports") and guaranteeing a safe destination".

In her speech, the Spanish minister explained how, in Spain, "the vaccination process is gathering speed. According to our Vaccination Plan, it will be possible for 70% of the population to be immunised by the end of the summer". Reyes Maroto went on to add that "conveying safety is essential" right now. She underlined the twenty or more health and hygiene protocols approved by Spain for the entire tourism sector that are now international benchmarks and highlighted the "Travel Safe" communication campaign by Turespaña with practical information and tips on traveller safety.

This Binational Forum on "Regulatory and Biohealth Experiences for Tourism" that was also attended by the Mexican Tourism Secretary, Miguel Torruco, enabled the two countries to continue working on the standardisation of international travel safety protocols and on the collaboration between the two nations aimed at reactivating tourism at a global level through dialogue and the exchange of experiences.

Forum participants

The event also included speeches from the Vice-President and CEO of Grupo Iberostar, Sabina Fluxà; the Sales Director for Spain, Portugal and North Africa of Iberia, Guillermo González Valina; the President of INVERHOTEL and CEO of Grupo Piñero, Encarna Piñero; the Regional Vice-President for the Americas of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Peter Cerdá; and the Regional Advisor on International Health Regulations of the Department of Health Emergencies of the Pan-American Health Organisation, Roberta Andraghetti.

The tourism sector in both Spain and Mexico accounts for a sizeable part of their respective economies. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), tourism in Spain accounted for 14.3% of GDP before the pandemic and 14.6% of total employment, while in Mexico it accounted for 15.5% of GDP and 13.3% of total employment.

In 2019, Spain was the third-most popular destination for Mexican tourists and the second in Europe after France. Furthermore, in 2018, Spain was the seventh-largest emitting market for Mexico, where Spanish hotel chains have a significant presence and top-level establishments (75% of them are five-star hotels).

Non official translation