1 in every 11 jobs globally comes from tourism…

Today, Friday July 14th, Adeje celebrated the official inauguration of the 25th Summer University, a joint initiative of the Adeje council and the University of La Laguna (ULL). Given the anniversary it was, in the words of the Adeje mayor, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, an “historic moment” in the borough’s history.
“Today we recognise that that the Adeje Summer University has been one of the backbones of what is the south of the island today”, given the development of what he referred to as intelligent tourism. He commented on the fact that the university had continued even during the years of the economic crisis and today was as much in demand as ever. He added that the summer university had the capacity to adapt and meet the changing needs, “thanks to those who we have placed our trust in, the rectors and vice-rectors, who have recognised the need to open up the university portals to today’s society and bring classes outside the traditional campus”.


This has been a project that has borne fruit, he added, for both the council and the university, pointing out that tomorrow is also the graduation ceremony for the second batch of Tourism diploma students who have undertaken their course in the Adeje campus.
The ULL rector Antonio Martinón, also marked the achievement of the 25th anniversary and the 225th of the University of La Laguna, underlined by the strong commitment to academic activities beyond the walls of the university. The mayor and the rector also paid tribute to the University rectors and vice-rectors during the 25 years of the summer university. “The presence of six rectors reflects the fact that this achievement is the not simply the work of one person, but something that is profound, that demands continuity and institutional commitment”, said the rector.


Inaugural address
Carlos Vogeler, executive director for member relations of the World Tourism Organisation, giving the inaugural address, told the audience that tourism was now the third highest contributor in world exports and that on average today more than 1,200 million people travel internationally every year, with the expectation that that would rise to 1,800 million in coming years. Tourism, he said, “creates one in every 11 jobs worldwide”. He congratulated the Adeje council and the University of La Laguna on their respective anniversaries of 25 and 225 years and welcomed the course themes this year of culture, health, sports and the economy and, of course, tourism. “Adeje is today a symbol of innovation and development and an excellent tourism reference point globally”, he said,

Vogeler said that tourism was an industry that could respond well to shifts in the international economy, and was able to offer employment creation and development within a sustainable development model. He also said it was important that the reaction to terrorist attacks designed to shut down borders (attacks on beaches, airports, hotels) mustn’t achieve their aim. In fact, he said, the industry shows no signs of slowing down and is becoming a tool for inclusion, offering opportunities to improve the living conditions for many people working in the industry, allowing them avenues out of poverty.

“In times of volatility the tourism industry is showing its enormous capacity for resistance. One of the challenges is to maintain the balance between competitive and responsible tourism, so that tourism develops in an ordered and sustainable manner, in economic, social and environmental terms”. Sustainable tourism was, he said, no longer a choice, it was an obligation. He stated that he would like to see the promotion of a platform for safe travel, developing ways of risk management and reduction.

“We are living in a changing world, with a more demanding tourist, a tourist better prepared, looking for experiences. We cannot sit back in our comfort zone and hope they come to us, without leading the movement for change to new directions.” New technology offers us the change to enrich the experience of the client, the client who has increasing access to better and more information.
Another big challenge is the ethical question for public and private businesses. The World Tourism Organisation has a world-wide code of ethics but what is also needed, Vogeler says, is an adhesion code, an international treaty, which will be presented at the next UNWTO assembly in China in September.

Tourism students adding to Adeje’s value

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The intention is to ultimately introduce an international master’s degree in tourism that would attract European students to study here

At the opening of the new university year in Adeje, the rector of the University of La Laguna, Antonio Martinón and the Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodriguez Fraga spoke of their plans to improve the course offer and make Adeje an international reference point for tourism studies.

It’s only been three years since Adeje became the official University of La Laguna campus in South Tenerife, and the number of students taking this third level course in tourism has grown from 50 to the 123 who have just begun their four year course, but already the course is proving important to Adeje’s position as a world leader in this important market. The mayor told those gathered for the term’s official opening that the existence of the course gave the sector “a strategic importance, not just for Adeje but for Tenerife and the Canary Islands”. He said education was “key in the consolidation of a destination that wishes to be leader in the sector…the presence of the university here is a fundamental factor” in the future of the destination he continued, adding that “training plays an important part in future possibilities”.

The Adeje mayor told the rector that he could be guaranteed of the council’s support in developing the course further to ensure that the presence of the university gave “added value” to the local sector. And it makes sense that Adeje could be a top choice study destination for those who want to undertake tourism training at degree and master’s level. He also told those currently studying to take full advantage of the course and the location.

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The university rector thanked the mayor and supported his intentions, adding that the existence of the campus in the south was the perfect example of collaboration between different institutions. “This is a project that meets the needs of the south of the island. Our wish is that the campus in the south will be strengthened and in the coming weeks we want to look ahead to see what other courses we can bring here. We are all aware of the key role tourism plays in the economic development of the island, in progress, and tourism also plays a part in promoting coexistence between the different regions and towns.” He added that the intention is to ultimately introduce an international master’s degree in tourism that would attract European students to study here, and in time Tenerife would become an international reference point for tourism studies in general.

Antonio Martinón urged private as well as public sector bodies to work together, to form an educational/employment pact, linking university education with social and political needs and realities. “From the universities’ point of view we are working to do much more than simply offer ideas, this isn’t just about reaching agreement about an educative system, but linking studies to the economic world today and employment needs. These islands have a high level of unemployment and all of us, and in particular those of us in the university, need to concentrate on finding ways of reducing this figure”.

Carolina Ramos will graduate this year, and is part of the first group to take up to the tourism course. She addressed the gathering too, representing the student body, saying “Adeje in in the tourism ‘Champions League’ …we want to prove that the students here in Adeje are prepared to meet the demands of the sector”. She acknowledged that when the course began a few years ago they did feel somewhat like ‘guinea pigs’ though they were proud to be at the forefront of a new project.

Also invited to address those present was the operations director for Iberostar Canaries and Cape Verde, Javier Muñoz Alegre. He said, “Tourism is a changing phenomenon which has to adapt itself to the wishes of visitors, which depends upon geo-political factors which can help or hinder, depending”. Tenerife, he said, had taken great strides in meeting three essential goals in modern tourism – hotel renovation, improvement of public zones and upgrading professional standards. However he said it was also important that public administrations were aware of the need to advance at the same pace as private investment.
Regarding the first group of professionals that would graduate from this course, he said they would be welcomed by all sectors. “Tourism is a complex sector demanding increasingly higher levels of professionalism underlined by the high expectations of the clients”.

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