The ‘Kellys’ hold their first conference in Adeje; call for conciliation

 

The Kellys is a national Spanish union of hotel cleaners

Today Adeje hosted the first ever Kellys Union Tenerife Congress, organised with the support of the Adeje Council. The goal of the conference was, according to the Union’s founder Eulalia Corralero, to “create a space for conciliation”, and to strengthen the collective, which has only been in existence for a short number of years. (The name ‘Kellys’ is a play on words on ‘those who clean – que limpian’).

Representatives from all parts Spain were in attendance, as well as the president of the Tenerife branch, Mónica Garcia, the Cabildo councillor for equality, Estafanía Castro and the Adeje mayor, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga. The founder explained that the movement started four years ago with a Facebook group, and has grown since then, and the (mostly) women are fighting to ensure that, despite changes in employment law and hotel practises, often outsourcing cleaning services, their rights are protected.

Estefanía Castro said “it is no accident that the first conference in Spain is being held in Adeje, given the commitment this council and the mayor has always had for the more vulnerable. This conference is not looking for confrontation but for conciliation as the founder has stressed. The position of chambermaids has been intolerable in the past but thanks to the Kellys their struggle is now visible”.

The mayor of Adeje welcomed the delegates and underlined the importance of their work in building the society we enjoy today, “women workers who have, over the years, sacrificed a lot, silence and invisible in helping to create a healthy tourism industry in Spain. Sometimes we forget that the construction of a country depends on many more people than simply intellectuals and business leaders”.

The Adeje major commented that “if tourism isn’t working to improve the lives of those who live here we’re not doing things properly, tourism has to create wealth but that has to reach all the sectors of the population to allow us live in a society that is more just and equal.” He pledged that the council would be with the Kellys in their judicial fight for better work conditions, saying that exploitative practises harmed tourism destinations.

 

 

 

 

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A fair deal for tourism boroughs

New Spanish minister for tourism offers an alliance with the AMTC

During the opening session today of the inaugural conference of the Association for Canarian Tourism Boroughs, the AMTC, the newly appointed national tourism minister Isabel Oliver Sagreras said the government in Madrid were happy to be allied with the association. She also spoke of the search for a “social balance” in tourism between the needs of the visitors and the rights of the residents in tourism destinations. “Residents have a right to an opinion too, and we have to be aware of the impact of tourism on where we live”. Sustainability was vital in this regard – “economic and territorial. It was also crucial that workers right to training and proper contracts and wages was respected and upheld.

The conference, being held in Adeje, was organised by the AMTC, with over 100 invited participants both from the member boroughs as well as relevant professional sectors. Speakers from the Canarian universities are also present during the two day event, June 22nd and 23rd.

During the afternoon session on Friday there were seven round-table discussions on what are considered the main themes in need of attention: governing tourism, overnight stays – including holiday rental, sustainability, training and employment, planning and management, integration and innovation, and digitalisation.

The president of the association and mayor of Adeje, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga said that the Canaries “has to adapt to the new tourism model, based on quality and sustainability if we wish to maintain our position as leaders in the sector among European destinations.” He pointed to the main challenges as “capturing the new mid and mid-high income tourist, keeping the 15 million annual visitors we have and making sure we keep the €20 million that the sector generates for the islands”, and to do that we have to improve in quality, diversity and sustainability.

Modernising the existing hotels was another crucial point, the AMTC president stressed. “We need to also reform the existing tourism law to meet the needs of sustainable growth but without getting rid of the moratorium in place and we also have to treat holiday letting as another branch of tourism. Our objective is to have an availability of 450,000 overnight places with an average occupation rate of between 70% and 80% with an average stay of 7 days.”

Digitalisation was mentioned as a tool for improving competitivity in the sector by up to 20%. Employment and training are also pillars of any advancement with the creation of up to 100,000 new jobs under discussion. Among the essential educational requirements, said Rodriguez Fraga, has to be language training. “Learning other languages is something we do need to be better at and improve education options. We are also committed to equal opportunities and will work to eliminate any gender or age discriminatory gaps.”

Referring to the seven main tourist áreas in the island – South Teneirfe, Southern Gran Canaria, La Oliva – Yaiza, Jandía, Arrecife – Tías – Teguise, North Tenerife and Islas Verdes) Rodríguez Fraga pointed to the huge problems in roads, public transport, ports and airports, and that given the 16 million visitors who visit these areas annually proper planning and integrated development was essential. He also used the visit of the newly appointed Spanish tourism minister to reiterate a key point of the AMTC – the need for increased funding from central coffers given that “tourism creates over 30% of GDP but these boroughs only receive 1% of regional funding and less than 1% from the general budgetary fund….the reality is”, he said, “that we look after over twice the numbers on the residential register”. (Boroughs receive central funding for residents registered on the ‘padrón’ for services, etc.).

The conference continues tomorrow in the CDTCA, in Adeje.

Top scientists in Adeje this weekend

 

enfc logo

Organisers say Adeje offers a “wide selection of attractive locations which are hard to resist”

Adeje is the chosen location for an important scientific conference this weekend, which will see 300 experts in the field of nitrogen fixation from over 40 countries deliver and listen to 50 scientific talks and view 200 poster presentations. The main language of the conference will be English.

The 11th ENFC, in the Hotel Dream Gran Tacande, Costa Adeje, will start with a satellite meeting on “Genomics of Nitrogen-Fixing Microorganisms” followed by a keynote lecture. The opening key note address will be given by Ray Dixon of the John Innes Centre, UK and the closing address by Hauke Hennecke, from the Institute of Microbiology ETH Zürich, Switzerland.

Adeje council was glad to offer advice and back-up to the conference organisers. The inaugural act of this important international conference will be held at 5pm on September 7th with the Adeje mayor, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga as well as representatives of the Cabildo, the University of La Laguna and the regional government.

According to the ENFC brochure, “these events will provide unique platforms to share and discuss the latest scientific news on nitrogen fixation and the molecular interaction between plants and symbiotic microorganisms.” And while the conference theme might be for the experts, on a general level it is good news for Adeje as it boosts the destination as an ideal conference as well as holiday destination.

According to one definition, “Nitrogen fixation is a process in which nitrogen in the atmosphere is converted into ammonium. Atmospheric nitrogen or molecular nitrogen is relatively inert: it does not easily react with other chemicals to form new compounds. The fixation process frees up the nitrogen atoms from their diatomic to be used in other ways.” Biological Nitrogen Fixation has enormous agronomical importance and its application in sustainable agricultural practises is widely recognised. Recently interest and funding in this field have been given a boost as illustrated by the financial support from the European Research Council and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Researchers from a number of laboratories funded by these organisations will present their results at this meeting. The organisers say, “this is a very exciting and flourishing area of research and we expect some major breakthroughs to be presented”.

The conference is held bi-annually, and organisers say they chose Adeje and Tenerife, because of the “wide selection of attractive locations which are hard to resist. The best and most modern conference centres, a vast network of hotel infrastructures, the highest quality technical and professional help and the best climate in Europe, especially suitable for outdoor activities, make up the extraordinary services at hand.” Participants will be given information about the destination, enjoy a performance by the Adeje municipal folklore group and at be treated to delicious samples of the some local produce such as honey, cheeses, wine and gofio during evening events.