FILE PHOTO: Spain’s Industry Minister Reyes Maroto arrives for a cupboard assembly on the Moncloa Palace in Madrid, Spain, October 5, 2018. REUTERS/Sergio Perez
LONDON (Reuters) – Spain’s tourism minister, who is assembly with British tour operators in London this week, mentioned she is engaged on contingency plans to make sure that 18 million British guests a 12 months can nonetheless attain Spain within the event of a “no-deal” Brexit.
Reyes Maroto, the Spanish minister for commerce, business and tourism, has met this week with the heads of a few of Britain’s largest tour operators, together with Thomas Cook (TCG.L) to debate plans in case Britain leaves the EU with no settlement in place.
“We are outlining a list of measures, the most important of which are to have laws and regulations in place that will allow us to respond quickly to any problems that can come up with the movement of goods and people at the border,” Maroto instructed Reuters in an interview.
“We’re working with the airlines on contingency plans on the kind of decisions that we’ll need to take in case there is no deal, so we can keep people moving between our two countries as we always have done in the past.”
International tourism accounts for round 11 p.c of Spain’s 1 trillion euro financial system, and the sector is the nation’s largest employer. British vacationers are the most important group, accounting for almost 1 / 4 of all guests.
“For our government, Brexit is a top priority and the commitment we have to Spanish companies and Spanish nationals in the UK, as well as with Britons in Spain, is to ensure that we will have a solution for any problems that might crop (up),” Maroto mentioned.
“British tourists need to know that Spain next year will still be an attractive destination … we want to be optimistic, but we are at a point at which we all have to keep up the pressure on the negotiators to resolve the few issues that are still pending,” she mentioned.
Reporting by Amanda Cooper; Editing by Peter Graff