Murcia’s regional government has announced plans to provide tourists with insurance coverage for health, transport and accommodation costs incurred if they become infected with COVID-19 during their holidays.
The initiative is part of a comprehensive Reactivation Plan for the Regional Tourism Sector unveiled by the government to further boost Murcia’s reputation as a safe destination.
According to minister for tourism, youth and sport Cristina Sánchez, the government believes the measure will be hugely important for tourists when making decisions about their holiday destinations. An initial investment of €500,000 has been allocated for the insurance scheme, to cover 900,000 national Spanish and international tourists.
Addressing the regional parliament, Sánchez said, “It will be intended for visitors who stay in officially registered and regulated tourist establishments, and will allow them to meet any expenses derived from possible infections at a health level, and also for prolonging their stay and that of their family nucleus.”
The government’s 2021 budget includes €21 million for the reactivation plan, supporting tourism-based companies with subsidies and promotional activities. The aim is to enhance relationships with tour operators, including direct and specific aid for accommodation, as well as creating attractive tourist packages devised in the context of the pandemic.
“We will continue working towards developing safe air corridors to prepare for the return of international tourism, and new national connections with northern Spain, thus strengthening north-south connectivity with Corvera Airport Murcia, and especially with the United Kingdom, given the new situation caused by Brexit, as it is one of our main source markets.”
The plan also includes a €1 million allocation exclusively for the hospitality sector, within the framework of Murcia’s year as the Spanish “Capital of Gastronomy”.
Nature, Gastronomy and Culture on the Costa Blanca
The regional government is working closely with Turespaña offices around Europe to showcase Murcia’s incomparable tourist attractions.
Special attention is being focused on the Costa Blanca “brand”, to highlight the quality and diversity of 250 kilometres of coastline, and a tourist destination that is ideal for sports enthusiasts, families, foodies and nature-lovers – while also offering secure health guarantees and protocols.
A key aspect of Murcia’s culinary marketing is wine tourism, and the region is also looking ahead to the Caravaca Jubilee Year in 2024 to promote cultural-religious tourism.
Located in the north-west area of the region, Caravaca de la Cruz is the fifth Holy City of Catholic Christianity and has the privilege of celebrating a jubilee year every seven years, in perpetuity (together with Rome, Jerusalem, Santiago de Compostela and Camaleño). Caravaca is home to the mediaeval Santuario de la Vera Cruz basilica, as well as several convents and a parish church with a cross celebrated for its reputed healing power.
The tourism ministry is also focusing on ecotourism as a complementary attraction to sun and beach, with Sierra Espuña the jewel in its nature crown.