Travel restrictions such as concerns about PCR testing and vaccination passports, changing travel advice and the possibility of quarantine are the biggest barriers to agents selling trips abroad.
The comments came in a survey designed to gauge the perception of Andalucia as a visitor destination from the UK in the context of Covid-19.
The research, involving 75 travel agents, 22 operators and five media focus groups, showed a strong knowledge of the southern Spanish region with a perception of safety.
When asked which Spanish destinations they would recommend to clients, 48% of agents opted for destinations within Andalucía, 13% chose the Balearic Islands, 11% the Canaries, 11% Catalonia and 10% in the Valencia region.
The majority (81%) felt confident in selling Andalucia with the biggest barriers including the current travel restrictions.
Covid rates and safety in Spain and Andalucia were the least of their concerns with 72 of the 75 agents saying they would feel comfortable visiting the country this year once routes open up.
The study found that 80% of operators are confident selling the destination, which includes the Costa del Sol and resorts such as Marbella.
More than two thirds (70%) of operator respondents showed interest in expanding their Andalucía product.
Key recommendations for the restart of tourism to the region included joint training, co-marketing campaigns,,fam trips and updated information in the form of e-shots and newsletters.
Media members identified culture and heritage as the region’s top USP and also noted that the challenges and barriers to selling Andalucía are not unique to the destination – PCR testing, possibility of quarantine and associated cost implications all featuring.
Andalucia tourism minister Juan Marin said: “The UK is one of our main source markets and it is imperative that we continue to work closely with the UK travel trade and understand their current needs and challenges.
“The findings of this research give us renewed confidence that the UK market will bounce back quickly – as soon as Spain is on the green list. We are taking all of the tour operator and travel agent recommendations on board to inform our marketing strategy.”