MADRID: The Spanish government has attempted to reassure tourists that the nation is a safe destination, despite recent increases in coronavirus cases in some areas.
“We want to send a clear message of confidence in our country,” said government spokeswoman Maria Jesus Montero. “We are a secure destination that has made preparations and strengthened itself to deal with the virus and any outbreaks.”
The tourism industry in Spain has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and even as many national lockdowns are being relaxed, visitors from other countries still appear hesitant to travel because of health fears.
Hotels, resorts and restaurants have been working to restore confidence by implementing safety measures and precautions designed to protect visitors.
Alberto Munoz, general manager of Puente Romano Beach Resort and Nobu Hotel Marbella, said that the safety of guests is paramount and no chances are being taken.
“We are fully committed to the well-being, health and safety of our guests,” he said. “Therefore we have implemented full health and safety training, so that all hygiene and safety measures are in accordance with the guidelines issued by the World Health Organization, the Health Alert and Emergency Co-ordination Center, and the Spanish Ministry of Public Health.
“We want our guests to feel relaxed and comfortable. It is important for them to feel safe during their stay with us, therefore we have put some stringent hygiene and rigorous health and safety protocols in place.”
He added that a hygiene kit is provided in all rooms on arrival, consisting of masks and hand sanitizer. In all of the resort’s 15 bars and restaurants, menus are available in a digital format that can be viewed on a mobile phone. The capacities of communal areas such as swimming pools, gyms and dining rooms has been limited, and all high-contact points in common areas are sanitized every hour.
Guests seemed to be generally satisfied with the safety precautions implemented by the resort.
“We feel comfortable considering how anxious we were before arriving,” said one person staying at the resort. “We have dined safely and we are socially distanced from others.”
Bless Collection Hotels, which has resorts in Madrid, Ibiza and Tenerife, is going even further by providing free health insurance for all visitors.
“Further reinforcing our commitment to guests’ wellness, we are offering a new medical care insurance that protects our guests against any unforeseen circumstances from the current health emergency,” said Ivan Tarilonte, the company’s chief operations officer. “The insurance is available free of charge for a year to all our guests.
“We want our guests to know they have nothing to worry about. Our goal is to offer the highest degree of hygiene while following all health regulations. To keep our hotels safe, we have partnered with SGS, the world’s leading entity in the sector for the certification and implementation of a new safety and welfare protocol, with the aim of offering full health and safety guarantees for our collaborators and clients.”
Tarilonte said that as part of daily operations, housekeeping carts, trolleys and other equipment are sanitized before and after each shift; housekeeping services are carried out when rooms are empty; all surfaces in guest rooms are wiped down with disinfectant; and particular care is taken when cleaning bathrooms.
“We have especially focused on providing our employees with specific training plans and best-practice guides for COVID-19 safety, and sanitation protocols specific to departments and responsibilities that comply with all safety, disinfection and cleaning regulations,” he added.