Adeje and Adeje call for tourism boroughs to be covered by statue and to be properly financed
The necessity for proper legal cover or statute for tourism boroughs, recognising their specific singularities, was part of the intervention today in the Madrid Fitur tourism trade fair by both the mayors of Adeje and Arona, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga and José Julián Mena, when they met the national minister for tourism, Reyes Maroto.
The mayors were taking part in the official presentation of the new Spanish alliance for tourism ‘sun and beach’ boroughs, bringing together eight destinations with shared characteristics. The alliance is calling for their boroughs to be covered by a specific statute with separate financing to allow for proper infrastructures and would allow local authorities offer adequate services for the thousands of tourists who visit annually, and without which residents are likely to suffer more. This would maintain the optimistic perception of tourism as an opportunity rather than a threat.
The alliance members, between them, represent 65 million overnight stays in Spain a year, 20% of the national tourism total. As well as Adeje and Arona, San Bartolomé de Tirajana, Salou, Calviá, Benidorm, Lloret de Mar and Torremolinos make up the membership. During the meeting Rodríguez Fraga called for a proper definition of a tourism borough. He said that such a definition would also refer to the necessities of such boroughs, “including the needs of our residents as well as the thousands of tourists who visit us on daily basis”.
Adeje, for instance, has a registered population of about 50 thousand residents, but on any given day of the year there may be up to 150 thousand people staying in the borough, which means a need for adequate security, “sanitation, services on beaches, in public centres and zones, on our streets and meeting health requirements”, said the Adeje mayor.
Arona’s mayor did have words of welcome for the willingness the minister for tourism seemed to be showing in her relatively brief time in the job so far, “visiting Arona and the south of Tenerife to take stock of the necessities and needs”. He said all of the boroughs in the new alliance shared some characteristics, and all were relying on resources allocated to a medium sized population, but providing resources and infrastructures for thousands more people all year round. In the case of Arona, he said, with a population of just over 100 thousand residents, the council needed to provide infrastructure and services for up to 1.5 million visitors a year, a situation which needed to be properly and adequately financed.
José Julián Mena also outlined the importance these boroughs have for the state of the Spanish economy, so it was only fair that “they could count upon investment and funding to ensure the destinations could continue to be a source of wealth creation, sustainable and competitive, and that tourism wouldn’t stop being been seen by our resident populations as a source of progress and opportunity, rather than a threat”. He added, “if these tourism destinations and boroughs are working well it benefits the Canaries and Spain”.