Podemos joins the voices of disgruntled international visitors who have no choice but to take a taxi
This summer has been complicated to say the least for anyone attempting to travel to Spain for personal or tourism purposes, with travel restrictions and the high cost of covid testing being just one of the many areas of difficulty that must be faced. sailed by anyone attempting to reach their vacation destination, visit family or spend time in their private property.
Those traveling to Murcia have faced the additional dilemma that the number of routes serving Corvera Regional Airport is limited due to the covid pandemic and only some of the routes normally operational during peak summer months serve even Alicante airport.
Before the pandemic, flights between Murcia and the UK normally accounted for the vast majority of all passengers, but in July there were only 13,521 passengers on Corvera-UK flights, accounting for less than 32% of the total and still 88% less. that in July 2019, when the number of people on Corvera-UK flights reached 109,147 and with a further 11,325 flights between the Costa Cálida and Ireland, they accounted for 83% of all traffic.
In July, a total of 42,381 passengers passed through the terminal, and although this is almost three times the number reported in the previous month, it is still 70% less than two years ago, however, the Traffic levels are slowly picking up after months Corvera has reported that up to 98% of passengers have been lost due to the pandemic.
While the lack of flights is a major problem for travelers, those reaching the area have also complained that the price of rental cars this summer was sky-high and complaints on social media about the price and availability of cars from rentals were numerous. in the past two months.
Which led to many questions on how to reach their final destination via public transport… ..and thus to another problem.
Since Corvera Airport replaced the old facility of San Javier as the regional airport for the region of Murcia, the regional government has subsidized a bus service, allowing passengers landing at the airport to go directly on the coast and the region’s golf courses, where many of them own land, mainly due to the dissatisfaction of visitors to the Mar Menor and the golf courses, much closer to San Javier than to Corvera.
As the region of Murcia does not have the type of accommodation normally selected by tour operators, most international tourists arriving via Corvera Airport from the United Kingdom, traditionally the largest source of overseas visitors to the region of Murcia, are owners who have holiday apartments on golf courses. or along the coast or are related in some way to that private property, i.e. they rent accommodation or visit family or friends, and most seaside resorts were literally built in the middle of a field.
Hence the provision of a subsidized bus service to help travelers who do not rent a car to reach their destinations.
The service stopped when the closures started, but has not resumed and since there are no trains from the airport, travelers have only one option; a taxi, which can be very expensive, given that the airport itself is built in the open and is “near nowhere”.
This week, the regional representative of the Podemos party in the Asamblea Regional, Rafael Esteban, raised the matter, criticizing the lack of public transport options for passengers arriving at Corvera airport.
Rafael Esteban, considered that the situation was “implausible”, and denounced “the unfortunate image offered by our tourism”, causing “the surprise and many complaints of tourists who arrive in an airport without connection with the main tourist centers” .
It’s an open secret that this year the regional tourism board put all its efforts into the domestic tourism market and almost completely ignored the needs of non-Spanish speaking foreign visitors, focusing on promoting the region in cities in Spain, due to the obvious difficulties caused by the Covid.
However, the rapid deterioration of the Mar Menor during the month of August is already affecting hotel bookings for the first weeks of autumn, normally a period when Spanish retirees in particular spend a few weeks by the coast, and suddenly the lack of interest in promotion to foreign visitors. , who spend millions in the region each year, especially outside of peak holiday periods, seems less of a strategy than a major oversight.
MP Podemos accused the regional government of “abandoning a sector severely affected by the pandemic to its fate”, and also criticized that “the ecocide of the Mar Menor and the lack of investment in basic infrastructure such as buses, cause many people to decide to spend their holidays in other destinations ”.
He went on to accuse the regional Minister of Tourism, Marcos Ortuño of “focusing more on other things”, than on “solving the problems of one of the most important sectors for the economy of the region of Murcia. “and attacked the regional Minister of Development and Infrastructures, Jose Ramón Díez de Revenga, who” seems not to have yet discovered that his job is precisely to solve problems like this “.
He concluded by saying that “the tourist image of the Region of Murcia and the Costa Cálida is being crushed”.
“The tourist who arrives in the Region is confronted with the absence of a public transport network which facilitates mobility throughout the territory, which is based on intermodality and offers diversified alternatives for the different levels of visitor income. »He concluded.
Unfortunately, due to the complete lack of public transport services at the regional airport, and after a stressful summer of replying to emails from outraged readers demanding an investigation into why car rental prices are so high and there are no bus services from the airport, it is difficult to disagree with the comments made.