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Author: Sarah Last updated: Tue 13 Oct 12:31
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The largest European operator reschedules daily flights from Belgium to the Valencian Community

TUI fly will fly from Brussels and three other airports to the Costa Blanca from 21 October. On 30 September, the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs lifted the quarantine on the region.

The resilience of Valencian tourism
TUI fly, the airline of the largest travel operator in Europe, will return to operate daily flights from Belgium to the province of Alicante from October 21, after this country has lifted the quarantine specifically to the Valencian Community. Until now, connections to Belgium from Altet were made on a regular basis, with three frequencies a week from Brussels, and only Ryanair maintained a daily flight with the Belgian capital.

With the new calendar TUI returns to the Costa Blanca from four airports of Belgium: Brussels (with a daily frequency), Ostend (five weekly flights), Antwerp and Charleroi (three each); the news is the return of one of the main suppliers of tourists from Europe to the region of Valencia, with a similar offer to the previous time to the health crisis.

On 30 September, the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs decided that the region was moving to an orange zone due to its sanitary conditions, an exception within the country. Belgium is the fifth foreign market for the Valencian Community, with a share of 5.6% and more than 538,000 visitors in 2019. The 75% goes to the province of Alicante, remains an average of 11.4 days and makes an average daily expend2 of 91.5 euros, according to statistics collected by tourism technicians Valencian Community.

In fact, in the first two months of 2020, Belgian demand "evolved positively both in Spain and in the Valencian Community". The impact of Covid-19 up to July has resulted in a 67.9% drop in Spain and 62.2% in the region, which represents a "smaller decline among the main Belgian destination communities".

The intention of the entrepreneurs is that the perception of autonomy as a safe destination allows to open brokers with other markets such as the United Kingdom, the main country sending tourists to the Valencian Community and a decisive factor to de-seasonalize the offer. At the moment the British government is only willing to lift the quarantine with island territories (the Greek islands or The Canary and Balearic Islands), but the Valencian tourism sector is pressing the executive to include it in this negotiation.

Precisely this Monday made public the barometer on the effects of the pandemic developed by the European Committee of the Regions (Cor), and that indicates that the autonomous communities of Madrid, Catalonia, Valencia, Andalusia, Balearic Islands and Castilla y León are among the regions most vulnerable to the economic impact of the Covid-19, like the region of Paris in France.

The report shows that the regions with the highest number of infections and deaths from SARS-CoV-2 disease "are not necessarily the most economically affected", as this depends on a number of additional factors. Specifically, the study notes that the economic impact of the pandemic in each region is potentially and to a large extent dependent on the exposure and sensitivity of each region to containment measures taken.

Moreover, this sensitivity is linked to a number of factors such as the proportion of employment in sectors most affected, dependence on tourism or international trade, the population at risk of poverty or social exclusion, the youth unemployment rate, the number of SMEs or self-employed.

The barometer produced by the European Committee of the regions has drawn up a map crossing the duration and level of containment measures and each of these factors. The result shows that Madrid, Catalonia, the Valencian Community, the Balearic Islands and Castilla y Leon are among the European regions most vulnerable to the economic consequences of the pandemic.

Also shown in red on this map are the Paris region in France, virtually all of Italy, coastal regions of Croatia, Eastern Bulgaria and Central Macedonia and the island of Crete in Greece.

The map shows that the impact of Covid-19 along the block is " substantially negative, asymmetrical and territorially differentiated." The Southern and eastern regions of Europe, for example, are more vulnerable because of the "high level of micro-enterprises and self-employed". In the Mediterranean and alpine communities, their sensitivity to the effects of the virus on the economy is due to their strong dependence on tourism.
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