Share the article
Covid may be gone and many countries have reopened for normal tourism after two years of restrictions, but the outlook for international travel, especially when it comes to accessibility, it’s still terrible. In fact, tourists visiting Spain, one of the top destinations in the world, should expect airfares to rise further due to new green policies about to come into effect.
Before the pandemic, Spain welcomed a record 83.7 million tourists a year, effortlessly beating competitors such as France and Italy to claim the status of Europe’s number one holiday spot. This should come as no surprise, considering all its natural and historical attractions, not to mention warm weather all year round.
Unfortunately, the Iberian nation could soon be out of reach for budget travelers if these estimates prove correct:
The European Union’s crackdown on gas emissions is to blame
The European Union (EU), of which Spain is a member, has assumed the mantle of the main pro-Green geopolitical entity. After paving the way for the Paris Agreement, a legally binding global treaty focused on climate change that was subsequently ratified by 196 sovereign states, it is actively pushing for more sustainable society before this threat.
In addition to reducing fossil fuels and promoting clean energy sources, the EU is ready to tackle the elephant in the room: the negative environmental impact of international travel, especially low-cost flights. Despite recent carbon offset measures, aviation remains a driver behind greenhouse gas emissions.
Openly advocating for green policies, the EU plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions “at least” 55 percent by 2030, demonstrated by its intense promotion of sustainable travel. If a new report issued by the consulting firm Deloitte materializes, tourists could be “discouraged” from visiting Spain due to new taxation and the increase in the cost of flying.
This time, the airlines flying to the Iberian Peninsula will have a harder time curbing future increases in air fares, as they did during the summer by unceremoniously cutting flights and bringing forward the selection of new staff. In the near future, pro-green proposals will be enshrined in law in much of Europe, including Spain.
Spain travels to be more expensive in the coming years
As a member of the EU, the country is subject to the adoption of the Fit for 55 Plan, developed in the wake of the Paris Agreement and which suggests a 5 percent share of sustainable fuel on all flights. Last year, United Airlines became the first in the world to operate an airplane 100% powered by sustainable aviation fuelcommonly abbreviated as SAF.
The historic moment seems to have rekindled interest in clean technologies and has certainly inspired a discussion about how air travel should be done in the post-Covid scene, at a time when the industry needs to reinvent itself once in a lifetime. and abandon older, less environmentally friendly practices. In addition to the minimum SAF requirementthe EU is pushing for tighter restrictions on carbon emissions.
Specifically, tourists traveling to Spain may be seeing “higher taxes” on aviation fuel, a cost that is inevitably passed on to airline tickets, while the country itself could be losing billions of euros in income and up to 430,000 workers in the industry, as a result of an expected drop in demand. Currently, 14% of Spain’s GDP corresponds to international tourism.
This figure places it alongside Portugal, Croatia, Greece and Montenegro as one of the European hotspots most dependent on valuable tourism dollars. Deloitte’s rough numbers project that up to 11 million tourists could give up holidays in Spain once the green plan is enacted as they would be “discouraged” by rising costs.
As price hikes plague Western European tourism, Americans are looking further east to countries like Albania and Türkiye (formerly Turkey), where their dollars stretch farthert. In fact, this season alone, two new nonstop flights were added between the U.S. USA and Turkey, which shows that travelers prefer destinations where they get the best price.
Meanwhile, Spain quietly passed into the background following reports of air conditioning crackdowns that left tourists sweating during the last sweltering and hot summer, as well as its controversial decision to maintain Covid restrictions as the whole of Europe moved on from the pandemic.
What did the Spanish authorities say?
Despite these setbacks and the darker outlook for Spanish tourism, the president of the Spanish Airlines Association said the aviation sector is “committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050‘, in line with the EU directive. At the same time, he called for more “effective and favorable” measures. reduce costs for tourists.
That is, it suggests a wider deployment of sustainable aviation fuel. right now, Spain is already one of the most expensive countries in the EU for visitors, as it requires Americans to credit at least USD 98.00 (EUR 100.00) in cash or sufficient funds for each day of their trip for the duration of their stay.
Travel insurance covering Covid-19 for 2022
This is the cheapest airport in the US for international flights
Round-trip flights to Europe for under $400 this fall and winter if you act fast
Top European destinations for US travelers this fall
Albania is no longer Europe’s best kept secret after it went viral on TikTok
Traveler alert: Don’t forget travel insurance for your next trip!
↓ Join our community ↓
O Off Road Travel Community FB Group has all the latest reopening news, chat and Q&A daily!
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR LATEST PUBLICATIONS
Enter your email address to subscribe to Travel Off Path’s latest travel news straight to your inbox
This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com