The number of tourist reservations in Spanish hotels rose to 4.05 million in April from zero a year ago, when a strict lockdown imposed by the coronavirus pandemic paralyzed the travel sector , closed hotels and forced most citizens to stay home, official data showed on Monday.

Despite the jump, reserves remained 85% lower than April 2019 levels, data from the National Institute of Statistics (INE) showed, highlighting the magnitude of the blow inflicted by the pandemic.

Global bookings for the first four months of the year were 71% lower than the equivalent period last year, as the first travel restrictions were not introduced until mid-March 2020.

Preliminary data from booking platforms suggests that Bookings accelerated in May after the nationwide state of alarm expired, allowing more Spaniards to travel within the country.

According to the INE, local tourists accounted for almost 70% of total bookings in April, while Germans, who are free to travel to destinations in the Balearic Islands, made up the largest group of foreign travelers.

Hoping to attract more international travelers and boost the recovery of the sector, the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, announced last week that fully vaccinated people from any country will be able to enter Spain as of June 7.

Sñanchez predicts that arrivals could reach 30% -40% of pre-pandemic levels this summer and as high as 70% by the end of the year.

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