Seville hospitality chiefs bemoan Celtic call after losing out on revenue
Hospitality chiefs have been left disappointed and angry by Betis’ U-Turn on Celtic fans visiting Seville.
After the success of Celtic fans’ trip to Andalusia in 2003, which won supporters an award from FIFA [Herald], Seville’s pubs, restaurants hotels and clubs would’ve hoped for a surge in revenue.
However, that won’t be happening. Celtic announced travelling fans would not receive tickets for the Europa League clash [Celtic FC].
That’s left a lot of people disappointed in Seville. Antonio Luque, President of the The Association of Hoteliers of Seville, said [Sun]:
“The decision taken by the health authorities not to allow thousands of football supporters into the city for European games is the latest in a series of disastrous decisions taken.
“We have now had 16 months of sanctions and many businesses will close down because of this.
“The hospitality industry would have been able to provide an economic injection that a city like Seville needs and foreign fans who would have come to the matches of European competitions of the Sevillian teams would have been delighted with our famous range of gastronomical choice.
“We have lost a lot of tourism this summer and we cannot afford to lose any more. They no longer appear to listen to us so it is time to mobilise and take necessary action.
“We have missed out on a golden opportunity this week.”
Betis decision was just days before Andalusia opened up – so why no Celtic?
Oddly, the President of the Regional Government of Andalusia, Juanma Moreno, announced that Andalusia was returning to Level 1 restrictions. That means theatres, cinemas, auditoriums, and concerts can now host 100% capacity levels.
Tonight’s announcement will have stuck in the craw of the hoteliers of Seville. Because Luque is right, they’ve missed out on a huge, lucrative opportunity.
No doubt, if there are health concerns abound, then fair enough. But the introduction of EU Vaccine Passports could’ve allowed for some leeway. If visiting fans have evidence of taking both vaccine shots, then less problem.
Because it’s not just football. Local economies thrive on visiting traffic from across the world. No doubt, Celtic fans have travelled back to Seville after their positive experiences in 2003. These impacts last a while.
It’s certainly a missed opportunity.