The gradual reopening of the public hostels on the Way of Saint James begins

The gradual reopening of the public hostels on the Way of Saint James begins

Into the Safe Way programme, Xunta and town councils with municipal hostels are coordinating the reopening of the establishments, adapted to the new situation for a safe reception

In order to guarantee a safe attention to the pilgrims, the first 28 public hostels (18 of autonomous management, eight of municipal management and two in charge of associations) open their doors in these first days of July in a coordinated action between the Xunta and concellos to carry out a gradual opening that allows to give assistance to the first pilgrims who return to the routes of the Way of Saint James. In any case, the forecast is that by the 1st of September all the hostels will be operative.

It should also be noted that during this first month of July, public hostels will maintain a maximum capacity of 50%, while in the rest of the hostels the percentage will be increased to 75%. These first hostels are located in A Gudiña, Begonte, Betanzos, Boimorto, Carral, Castroverde, Lalín, Laza, Mesía, Miño, Monterroso, Mos, Neda, Ordes, Pontecesures, Pontevedra, Puertas, Samos, San Cristovo de Cea, Sandiás, Teo, Trasmiras, Valga, Vedra, Verín, Vilar de Barrio, Xinzo de Limia and Xunqueira de Ambía. They are considered the most necessary and represent more than 50% of the total accommodation places in hostels in each town council

After more than three months of closure by the covid-19, the Xunta gives support to hostellers and information to pilgrims through its Safe Way program, in addition to completing the implementation with the distribution of signaling and prevention material (screens, masks for workers, gels and disinfectant solutions, dispensers, pedal bin, gloves or bags, among others).

In addition, the Xunta has opened a line of aid for the tourism sector to finance the purchase of protective material and facilitate the adaptation of businesses to the requirements of health and safety against covid-19, as well as specific training for the staff of these accommodations in health and safety matters, which has benefited 300 people who have also been able to resolve doubts during these weeks prior to the launch with the free advice service.

Reservation system
In addition, the Xunta has set up a booking system in public hostels through the platform, with the aim of offering greater guarantees to pilgrims in the current health context. Through it, users have access to a search engine with all the establishments of the public network through which they can make their reservation and in which it is also possible to locate the hostels according to the route in which they are located.

The system will facilitate reservations from the day before until 13:00 on the day of the pilgrimage, which will coexist with the possibility of obtaining a place on arrival at the establishment, provided that it has capacity, thus making this system compatible with the more traditional spirit of Jacobean welcome. In addition, through this platform it is possible to make reservations for groups of up to five people. It is not necessary to register, although this option is open to speed up the process.

To reserve their place, users must complete their name, e-mail address, date of reservation and, optionally, a contact telephone number. This is an initiative launched by the Xunta as part of the Safe Way programme to facilitate the pilgrimage in the post-Covember 19 stage with greater certainty and safety.


Guided tours with the official guides of Galicia are back

Guided tours with the official guides of Galicia are back

The association that groups this group in Galicia, APIT Galicia, has signed a collaboration agreement with Fegatur to give rural tourists free tours in one of the seven cities where they will be staying from July to September

With the reopening of numerous tourist attractions, the activity of the Galician tourist guides is also returning. And it returns after a hard confinement that many of these professionals have taken advantage of to train and prepare themselves by adopting the necessary measures to work safely in this new reality, applying the new hygiene protocols in our visits and contributing to make Galicia a safe destination.

Thus, during this time, specific recommendation guides have been developed for the work of the tourist guide, both by the ICTE and the Xunta de Galicia, and the guides have been able to participate in a complete training programme promoted by the Xunta to update training and adopt these protocols, with the aim of returning to make visits to all corners of Galicia in a safe and sustainable manner. “We are once again the best ambassadors of Galicia to the people and pilgrims who visit us. We return to contribute with our taxes to a society of well-being. This pandemic has shown us that not everything is worthwhile and that we have to think about sustainable and responsible tourism and that is why we ask: Choose well who guides you,” they say in a statement to announce their return.

Precisely to claim the professionalization of this group and the figure of the guide the official guide, the prepared guide and the guide responsible for his environment and his  inhabitants, the yellow umbrellas made their synchronized appearance again in Vigo, Pontevedra, Santiago, Coruña, Ferrol, Lugo and Ourense, following the joint call with CEFAPIT (Spanish Confederation of Tourist Guides Association), which took the call to all the cities of Spain

Collaboration FEGATUR
In addition, APIT Galicia has just signed a collaboration agreement with the Galician Federation of Rural Tourism (FEGATUR) to reward visitors who stay this summer in our rural tourism houses with a free voucher to join our visits in the 7 cities of Galicia. These visits are also open to all visitors and will take place regularly throughout the summer at the following times:

VISIT: Old City Tour
July and August: daily
September: Saturday, Sunday and holidays

DAYS: daily

SEPTEMBER: Saturdays and Sundays
11.30 am Monday to Saturday
12h00 Sundays and holidays

DAYS: daily visit (except Sundays)

DAYS: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday

DAYS: daily
HOURS: 10:00
DAYS: daily
DAYS: daily
DAYS: daily

DAYS: Friday
DAYS: Saturdays and Sundays
HOURS: 11:30.


Tourism, central axis of the actions of the Diputación de Pontevedra for the next months

Tourism, central axis of the actions of the Diputación de Pontevedra for the next months

The President of the Provincial Council announces a tourism recovery plan worth 3.5 million euros

As a fundamental sector for the province, as valued by the president of the Diputación de Pontevedra, Carmela Silva, the council presented its Tourism Reactivation Plan with 3.5 million euros with which the supra-municipal entity seeks “to respond to the needs of the tourism sector in the province to the importance of joining efforts between the business and the various administrations.

The president also explained that this is a cross-cutting initiative with specific measures structured into five central axes: legal and financial aspects to guarantee the financial solvency of the companies; prevention, security, health and hygiene, with training and adoption of protocols of sanitary guarantee; digitalization and competitiveness, with actions directed to convert the TIC in management tools of the tourist sector, as much for the city councils as for the personal sector; promotion of the demand for tourism products and services with the implementation of actions to reactivate local consumption and stimulate the attraction of tourists in all regions of the province and, finally, promotion of the Rias Baixas destination with the promotion of a communication and marketing package at the Galician and national level, as well as in Portugal, with a campaign “linked to proximity and focused on promoting the province as a safe destination, nature, culture and where you can enjoy with complete confidence,” explained Silva.

In its development has involved both the Provincial Council and the Provincial Tourism Board as well as municipalities and the tourism sector itself, through surveys that allowed to know the real situation of the sector defined by the paralysis of activity and limitations on mobility, the need for liquidity of companies, the ERTE itself, the crisis of confidence, new consumption habits and loss of purchasing power of families.

In view of this situation, the plan emphasizes the need to focus on health, hygiene and safety; on ODS, on innovation and digitalization and on experience tourism associated with nature and sustainability. In addition, the plan includes the need to increase online sales with flexibility, security and confidence in public transport and the need to create a model of coordinated tourism management and governance at local, national and European levels.

The Reactivation Plan also detects strengths and needs of the tourism sector in the province of Pontevedra, such as the need to strengthen the Rías Baixas brand as a safe destination, the importance of guaranteeing the viability and survival of the business fabric and employment, the empowerment and competitiveness of workers and companies and the promotion of demand and local tourism. It also contemplates four possible scenarios, from an optimistic point of view, the central one, of recovery and possible resurgence. Although it is a living document with the aim of adapting to the situations that may arise at any given time, the Plan is based on a possible scenario of a rapid recovery of national tourism and a slow recovery of international tourism, with a fall in visitors in 2020 of 53.96% and in 2021 of 22.51%.

Survey on the situation of the sector as a consequence of the Covid-19
The study carried out within the framework of the Reactivation Plan for the province of Pontevedra, in which 200 companies from the different regions of the province participated, highlights that 47% of them had less than 6 workers; 86% of the companies had to stop their activity completely and only 13% were able to maintain 25% of the activity; 29% had to take on an ERTE of force majeure and 25% for productive causes.

In the second half of 2020, 40% believe that they will have less than 25% of activity, 37% between 25-50% of activity and 17% that they will not be able to renew their activity. The companies also indicate that they will expand prevention, security and protection measures, reorient their products and services and increase the digitization of sales channels. Also, through the surveys, they stressed the need for greater coordination between administrations for the promotion of new products and services for the suburbs.


ERTE's extensions until 30 September are underway

ERTE’s extensions until 30 September are underway

The measure, which was a unanimous clamour from the whole sector, also affects the self-employed, who will extend the aid until September and include seasonal workers

The Temporary Employment Regulation Schemes (ERTEs) will be extended for the time being until 30 September next, after an agreement has been reached between the Government, employers and trade unions. The measure, which was a unanimous demand of the tourism sector, will allow the ERTEs to be extended in the coming months, although with different exemptions. Among the novelties of the agreement signed, the ERTE for economic, technical, organizational and production reasons (ERTE ETOP) will also benefit from the same exemptions. Furthermore, in case of COVID-19 outbreaks that have an impact on companies, there will also be exemptions.

The so-called transition ERTES are thus regulated by Royal Decree Law 24/2020, published in the BOE on 27 June, which includes an exemption from contributions of 70% in July, 60% in August and 35% in September, in the case of companies with fewer than 50 workers, while for those with more than 50 employees, the exemptions will be 50% in July, 40% in August and 25% in September.

The rule also establishes that the workers of the affected companies will not be able to work overtime, establish new outsourcing of the activity or arrange new contracts, whether direct or indirect, during the application of these ERTEs.

The only exception to the new hiring (and prior information to the representatives) is when the employees are not able, due to training, qualification or other objective and justified reasons, to carry out the entrusted functions.

Self-employed workers: the aid is extended until September and includes seasonal workers
The self-employed and seasonal self-employed, who had been excluded from the aid because they were not registered when the state of alert was declared, will also benefit from this extension of the ERTEs. Thus, on the one hand, the beneficiaries of the extraordinary benefit existing until now, 1.4 million at the end of May, may apply for the ordinary benefit due to cessation of activity, provided that they prove a reduction in turnover of 75% in the summer quarter – from July to September – compared to the same period last year.

To do this, the Social Security authorities explained, they will not need to wait until the end of the quarter but can apply for the ordinary benefit when they consider that they meet the requirements and provide documentary proof of this at the end of the quarter.

Also included is an extension of the exemption of the fees for self-employed people who have been receiving this extraordinary benefit: they will not pay the July fee and will have a 50% exemption in August and 25% in September.

Translated with (free version)


6 out of 10 Spaniards have already decided where they will travel this summer

6 out of 10 Spaniards have already decided where they will travel this summer

The latest report from the Observatur, Spain’s outbound tourism observatory, shows that 65% of Spaniards have changed their summer holiday plans for fear of the coronavirus
Those who have decided to travel, will do it mostly in their own car and with a partner, choosing mostly “not overcrowded” destinations, dividing their preferences in terms of accommodation between own housing, hotels and tourist apartments. 76% of Spaniards have chosen a national destination, 6% an international one and 18% combine both types for their holidays.

The report also states that seven out of ten Spaniards who have decided to travel will do so in July and August, contracting the trip with a travel agency in the case of a quarter of travelers and enjoying holidays that will mostly be 8 days, with a preference for sun and beach destinations. The average expenditure planned for this summer falls by about 100 euros on average compared to 2019 and 2018, with 595 euros per person, of which accommodation takes 32%, catering 29% and transport 16%.

As also stated in the study, most of those who plan not to travel in the summer, have decided to delay their first leisure trip to next year (68%) mainly as a result of the pandemic and, as a second major cause, for economic reasons (31%).

Promotion and support to the sector

The report prepared by Observatur also asked respondents about their opinion of tourism phobia and government aid to the tourism sector. Eight out of ten Spaniards believe that the Administrations should support “with some kind of help” the promotion of domestic tourism. This measure, they say, would serve as an economic stimulus for our country (45%) and would help a key sector such as tourism (42%). Only 4% are opposed to such a decision and most highlight other priorities for such spending.

On the other hand, about half of the interviewees consider that information and promotion campaigns should emphasize aspects such as safety and hygiene. The demand for the continuity of traditional campaigns focused on the characteristic values of the destination would be the second option (32%) and the third would point out aspects related to sustainability and the environment (13%). The consideration of ‘intelligent destination’ is the least chosen message (7%) and it is for all age groups and regardless of what their activity will be this summer.

On tourism phobia this summer, the ObservaTUR report identifies a total divergence of opinion: while 52% believe it will increase, 48% think that, given the importance of tourism in the economic recovery, it is likely that there will be no increase.

The fifth Season Report of the National Observatory of Outbound Tourism (ObservaTUR), is an analysis and monitoring tool that is integrated by Amadeus España, AON, Beroni, Carrefour Viajes, IAG7 Viajes/Airmet, Iberia, Movelia, ReiniziaT, Renfe-SNCF en Cooperación and the National Association of Travel Agencies (UNAV).



The Xunta collaborates with Aviturga in an initiative to improve the organization of the Houses of Tourist Use

The Xunta collaborates with Aviturga in an initiative to improve the organization of the Houses of Tourist Use

They will do so through the website, which includes recommendations and instructions to guide owners in the process of regularizing their accommodations

Xunta and Association of Tourist Houses of Galicia (Aviturga) will collaborate to improve the arrangement and standardization of this type of accommodation with the launch of a website, through which recommendations and instructions will be offered to guide owners in the process of regularizing their accommodation. The action agreed between both entities also includes an online campaign that will be developed throughout the summer and the following months and that summarizes the main requirements.

The new website offers users answers to the most frequently asked questions about this type of accommodation, makes it easier to download the forms required for its regulation and provides owners with a guide that summarises the steps to follow in order to offer this type of accommodation in compliance with the law. Through this measure, the Galician Government and Aviturga encourage owners to comply with current legislation and reinforce the image of Galicia as a safe, reliable and quality destination.

In the same way, the platform offers a digital form through which Aviturga will manage any kind of incident that may arise in the development of this activity. In addition, in the next few days a virtual classroom for permanent training will be launched, offering a cycle of webinars aimed at training the owners of tourist properties on the protocols to be applied this summer in order to guarantee maximum health and hygiene safety.

Obligations of VUT owners
The website thus includes the requirements established in the regional regulations governing homes for tourist use for their marketing, in addition to registering the home with Galicia Tourism, making the corresponding payment of the fee and a responsible statement. The website also includes the obligations of the owners of the VUT’s, among which it is important to fill in the registration books for the entry and exit of travellers and to inform the Guardia Civil or the National Police, depending on the city council where they carry out their activity, and to provide the Xunta with the occupation data every quarter.