As tourism rebounds, Spanish have mixed feelings

Excited tourists, mainly from Germany, spilled out of Mallorca airport over the weekend.

The holiday destination got an influx of travellers after Berlin last week lifted quarantine requirements for those returning from the popular Spanish islands - although the German government still advises against non-essential travel.

"It is an amazing feeling to be able to be back here and we are very happy that Mallorca has such a low infection rate and that we can come here," said one tourist.

"We all took a test in the past 48 hours and all of the people on our plane were clean and had taken a test. It is perfect," he added.

The return of German tourists provides a timely boost for one of the country's hardest-hit industries.

Foreign visitors to Spain fell 80% in 2020.

The year before it was the world's second most popular tourist destination, with more than 80 million arrivals.

The renewed influx of the German tourists was noticeable on Mallorca over the weekend, with restaurants buzzing once more.

Tour operator TUI Germany said Easter bookings were double 2019 levels.

On Monday (March 22) the country's tourism minister said he hoped foreign tourist arrivals would hit half their pre-crisis numbers this year.

But the arrivals left some in Mallorca with cause for concern.

Groups of German tourists were seen partying without masks on the beach despite restrictions still in place on the island.

Some locals were surprised by tourists' behaviour, and had mixed feelings about the benefits of their return.

While German visitors are able to enjoy the resorts, Spaniards are unable to do so because of a ban on travelling between regions over Easter, leaving many angry.