Hey Finnish Peeps, We’re Getting Back to the Daily Grind!

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Spain is open again for tourism, but any Finns flocking to their favourite resort town in the Costa del Sol will find some changes in store on the beaches.

Costa Mayor’s message to Finnish tourists: “We are returning to normal life”

Spain has opened its borders to EU and Schengen visitors this week, and authorities are hoping enough tourists come to help boost the economy during the rest of the summer season.

The Mediterranean country would normal expect 80 million visitors each year, with 12% of Spain’s GDP coming from tourism. This year however, the coronavirus crisis has decimated tourist numbers.

During the last three months of lockdown more than 28,300 people have died from coronavirus-related symptoms in Spain and strict measures were put in place to contain the pandemic. People were virtually confined to their homes for weeks at a time, flights were canceled, businesses that rely on tourism shuttered, and resort towns that would be increasingly busy throughout spring remained deserted.

The Costa del Sol region in the south of the country is a magnet for Finns in particular. Tens of thousands of people live there or visit for the sun, sea and sand of summer, or the mild  winters.

With a thriving year-round Finnish community of established businesses and startups, bars, restaurants, a Finnish newspaper and radio station, Finnish doctors and a church, the town of Fuengirola is known as ‘Little Finland’ for good reason.

Costa Mayor’s message to Finnish tourists: “We are returning to normal life”

The town’s mayor says she’s hoping the Finnish tourists come back.

“We know that there’s a special connection between us and the Finns, that they’ve been coming here for many years and we want to see them continue to be a part of our wider family” says Mayor Ana Mula.

Like other tourist towns on Spain’s southern Costa del Sol, Fuengirola felt the sharp economic pain of the sudden lockdown in March.

“The impact of the virus on the economy of Fuengirola has been the same as the impact on any other town. It’s a difficult situation for all the businesses, for all the employees the impact has been immense. But little by little we are returning to normal life” Mayor Mula tells News Now Finland.

Although many businesses close down over the winter months in the Costa del Sol towns when tourist numbers are lower, they would all expect to be open now as the peak summer season approaches.

Costa Mayor’s message to Finnish tourists: “We are returning to normal life”

Measures in place to welcome tourists

Spain’s national plan to re-open the country’s borders – and allow domestic travel again – began however under a cloud on Monday as 11 new coronavirus outbreak clusters were discovered.

The new cases were detected in the northern region of Aragon, in the capital Madrid, in Catalonia, the Canary Islands and Murcia – but nothing so far in Andalusia where Fuengirola is located – although there have been more than 1,300 in the region to date.

So with coronavirus cases still cropping up, was this the right time to open Spain again? Mayor Mula, from the centre right Partido Popular, says they’ve worked hard to overcome the crisis “and for our part we are ready for the new normal.”

“When the authorities at national government level took this decision, I understood that Spain is in a secure position and we can offer to our tourists truly secure conditions to visit us, to visit any one of the provinces or municipalities” she says.

Fuengirola has hired 56 extra staff for the summer to help monitor tourists in this ‘new normal.’ Among their duties the workers, wearing luminous green t-shirts, and face masks, will ensure visitors respect social distancing rules on Fuengirola’s beaches.

“For our part what we are doing in the municipality of Fuengirola is taking extreme safety precautions, putting in place all the measures that are necessary. But what I think is important to emphasize is that it all depends very much on individual responsibility, on each and every one of us – those of us who live here in Fuengirola but also those who are visiting us” says Mayor Ana Mula.

“And of course we can offer the quality of our beaches which are allowed to be filled, with social distancing measures.”

Costa Mayor’s message to Finnish tourists: “We are returning to normal life”

Source: newsnowfinland.fi

14 Comments
  1. AinoM says

    As a Finn, I’m excited to see Spain opening up for tourism again. I hope that this will help revive the economy and bring back some sense of normalcy after the challenging times we’ve all been through.

  2. AnitaK says

    As a Finn, I am delighted to hear that Spain is open again for tourism. However, it is concerning to see the impact of the coronavirus crisis on both the country and the tourism sector. Hopefully, with the necessary precautions and changes in place, we can still enjoy our time in Costa del Sol while supporting the local economy.

  3. SofiaK says

    As a Finnish expat living in Fuengirola, I’m thrilled that Spain is opening up for tourism. It’s been a tough few months for the local businesses, and I hope that the Finnish community here can help bring some much-needed support to our beloved Costa del Sol. Let’s all stay safe and enjoy the sun and sand responsibly!

  4. EmmaHelsinki83 says

    As someone who frequents Fuengirola every year, I’m excited to hear that Spain is finally opening up to tourists again. It’s been a tough few months for everyone, but I believe that with proper precautions in place, we can still enjoy the sun and sand while staying safe. I hope to see familiar faces in ‘Little Finland’ soon!

  5. AinoK says

    In my opinion, it’s great news that Spain has opened its borders again for tourism. The Costa del Sol region is a favorite destination for many Finns, and I believe the changes on the beaches will not deter them from enjoying the sun and sand. Let’s hope for a successful summer season that will help boost the economy of both Spain and the local Finnish community in ‘Little Finland’!

  6. Maria_Korhonen says

    I think it’s great news that Spain has opened its borders for EU visitors. This step will hopefully help to revitalize the economy and bring back some sense of normalcy to the popular resort towns like Fuengirola. However, it’s important for everyone to stay cautious and follow safety guidelines to prevent any further spread of the virus.

  7. AinoKarjalainen says

    I am excited to see Spain opening up for tourism again. It will be interesting to observe how the changes on the beaches will impact the experience for visitors, especially us Finns who love spending time in Costa del Sol. Let’s hope that enough tourists come to support the local economy after the unfortunate impact of the coronavirus crisis.

  8. MaijaK says

    As a Finn who is part of the thriving community in Fuengirola, I am glad to hear that Spain is opening up for tourism again. It’s been a tough few months with the lockdown, but I hope that enough tourists will come to help our town and the local economy recover. Can’t wait to get back to the sunny beaches of the Costa del Sol!

  9. MaijaK says

    As a Finn, I’m thrilled to hear that Spain has reopened for tourism. However, I’m a bit concerned about the changes on the beaches due to the current situation. Let’s hope that enough tourists visit to help revive the economy, especially in regions like the Costa del Sol where many of us Finns love to spend time.

  10. KatriinaK says

    As a Finn, I’m excited to hear that Spain is open for tourism again. However, I understand the changes on the beaches are necessary to ensure everyone’s safety. It’s been a tough time for Spain, and I hope that tourists will bring some much-needed support to the economy. I look forward to visiting “Little Finland” in Fuengirola once again.

  11. EmmaJohnson80 says

    Are there any specific measures being implemented on the beaches for the safety of tourists and locals?

    1. JohnDavis42 says

      Hey EmmaJohnson80, yes, there are specific measures being implemented on the beaches in Costa del Sol. Authorities have set up designated areas for social distancing, increased sanitization stations, and limited the number of people allowed on the beach at one time. These measures aim to ensure the safety of both tourists and locals during these challenging times.

  12. ElinaK says

    As a Finn who frequently visits Fuengirola, I’m relieved to hear that Spain is opening up for tourism again. It’s been tough being cooped up at home during the lockdown. I’m looking forward to enjoying the sun, sea, and sand on the Costa del Sol once more, but I’m also prepared for the changes that might be in store. Let’s hope the summer season helps boost the economy and bring back some sense of normalcy.

  13. Leena_Helsinki67 says

    As a Finn, I’m thrilled that Spain is reopening for tourism, but I’m also concerned about the changes on the beaches. We’ll have to adapt to the new measures and make the most of our summer escape!

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