Rodríguez Fraga: “Hopefully we will be able to support sustainability, avoid any more pressure in terms of numbers in a limited space and work for a more equitable share-out of the benefits”
Among the important events that Costa Adeje took part in during the Spanish tourism trade fair, Fitur 2018 were diverse meetings and forums with professionals and representatives from the sector. Adeje mayor Jose Miguel Rodríguez Fraga was guest speaker at Fiturtech, organised by the ITH, the hotels technology institute. Also in attendance were the mayors from Spain’s main tourism zones and members of the National Tourism Alliance: Benidorm, Calvía, Lloret de Mar, Arona, San Bartolomé de Tirajana and Torremolinos. The moderator was Juan Molas, president of the ITH.
150 professionals were present at the round-table event, looking at “the differentiation, as a formula, in the repositioning of pioneer destinations”. Rodríguez Fraga used the opportunity to give a rundown of the main actions taken and challenges dealt with by Costa Adeje. One of the areas he gave particular emphasis to was the council’s concerns regarding sustainability, the need to ensure that there is no increase in pressure in what is a limited space and that the benefits accrued from tourism are more equitably distributed. “Adeje generates an important part of the island’s income, contributes to the economy in a major way, but the share-out is not properly reflected”, he said. The mayor says it was of primary importance that the share was more equitable because it is, he stressed, “fundamentally important that in a destination such as ours the local population sees that they benefit from the industry they work in, and do so via better services, higher wages and better working conditions, commitment to training and quality of service”. He added that local administrations “also have to work to ensure that this is the case and in that way more people will want to work in the sector giving of their best and being properly compensated for it”.
Regarding the development within the destination, Rodríguez Fraga was robust in his commitment to sustainability. “In Costa Adeje it is no longer a question of increasing the number of tourists coming here, but of maintaining the numbers while improving the offer and the quality of the destination”. Questioned about the new hotels being built in the borough and the reformation taking place around the destination, he said “in general we are not looking to build new hotels, what we are concentrating on is the modernisation of the existing hotels and the reformation of those that are obsolete. We are doing this hand-in-hand with a business sector that is very committed to this idea of readapting. Furthermore, for us the main objective is to achieve improved profitability, in turn creating more jobs with less pressure on what is a finite space.”
During the forum there was also an important discussion on the presence and role of new technology in the tourism industry and with this in mind Rodríguez Fraga voiced his interest, given that “innovations and the use of new technology can be useful in solving and dealing with problems in the sector, and has a lot to do with the overall sustainability within our offer and the future projects in the borough”.
11.2% of GDP
During the fair, in different debates that took place, one of the constant themes was the issue of legislation and the funding of local administrations in tourism boroughs. In this regard the eight boroughs that make upon the national alliance, with over 400 million overnight stays between them, generate 11.21% of the country’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product), something that is not reflected in the distribution of funds by, among others, the Finance ministry. The mayor commented, “what concerns us is the fact that superior (national) administrations pass laws and impose regulations from above without taking into account the problems and the solutions that arise and are dealt with at local level often while lacking the proper resources to do so. Rodríguez Fraga, who is also president of the Canarian association of tourism boroughs, agreed that regulation was important but in a reasonable way and with rules and orders that were applicable and apt and that local administrations were given the tools to carry them out. “We are too used to the fact that they regulate too much and contribute too little”:
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