“We cannot continue patching up the problems…”

The AMTC says there is a lack of proper dialogue

 

The mayors of the five member boroughs of the AMTC (Association of Canarian Tourism Municipalities) and the mayor of Pájara (pending membership) took part in a round table discussion yesterday at the ‘Futurismo Canarian 2018’ conference in Arona. Also at the table were the Cabildo president and the regional deputy tourism minister. Discussion focussed on challenges and opportunities for Canarian tourism boroughs the participants examined relevant data from each area and spoke of the “definition of a development model for such an important sector in the archipelago”.

Adeje, Arona, Guía de Isora, San Bartolomé de Tirajana, Mogán and Pájara between them earn 30% of the GDP derived from tourism, and more in secondary income, as Arona mayor José JulianMena explained. “We welcome 7.8 million tourists annually…over 65 million overnights making us a very important tourism resource at European level”. He continued, “the monies we receive for public infrastructure is not in any way equal…the historical investment deficit and bad planning is generating serious problems in mobility and in the end we will lose the competitive edge…we cannot continue patching up the problems such as the south motorway, the secondary roads, the airport or the Los Cristianos port”, he insisted.

During the morning the presidents of the association, and Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, alongside the other mayors, detailed actions they are taking as the AMTC, including the preparation of a detailed response to the proposed decree on holiday rentals. Fraga said “we believe there are some contradictions in the proposed decree and we have to be heard on this sensitive matter. We will insist on regulations that are intelligently designed to deal with the problem and turn it into an opportunity”. They will be looking for meetings with the regional government to talk about the law dealing with the coordination of local police forces and other matters which directly affect their borough members.

The mayors also reiterated that among the principal difficulties identified in tourism destinations are mobility, sustainability, necessary language training, financing adapted to the boroughs and investment in public infrastructures.

The mayor of Pájara, Rafael Perdomo spoke of the main problems his borough is facing; “The transformation of an older destination into one that is competitive on its own merits, not due to problems with other destinations, and improvements in public infrastructures”. He also emphasised the value of an organisation such as this one.

Cabildo president Carlos Alonso said he was still unsure as to the exact role of the AMTC as “they haven’t explained it to us”, but said he was happy to advance dialogue between tourism boroughs. The merit of dialogue was agreed by all present. Onalia Bueno, mayor of Mogán, said “we are the most important boroughs from a tourism point of view in the Canarias and we have to be listened to and acknowledged by Cabildos, the regional government, nationally and at European level because we firmly believe we have to have an active role in the decisions which affect the sector”.

Adeje mayor added “there is a lack of real dialogue, where we are being listened to, we have particular issues which need to be resolved…”, stating that tourism and the benefits that arise from the sector need to be seen to benefit the people involved and improve the quality of life of those in the sector.

 

 

Tourism experts debate the future of the sector

 

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Adeje was host to the XIX AECIT (Tourism experts) Congress this week, with over 200 persons from the sector coming together to discuss new challenges facing the industry from an informed and scientific perspective. The event was organised by the AECIT, FIT Canarias and the Adeje Council.

Speaking to the assembly, the rector of the University of La Laguna, Eduardo Parra López said “it was an honour that this association has one of our professors as its president (Antonio Martinón Cejas)” adding that he hoped by the end of the year to be able to announce an ambitious programme for the years ahead. “We will take advantage of our presence here in South Tenerife, in Adeje, to encourage academic activities, not just limited to the tourism grade either, but investigative projects directly related to the zone and beyond. We don’t have to be competitors all of the time, we can work from a wider platform”, he said.

The mayor of Adeje, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, told the attendees that today Costa Adeje was “in a process of renovation in the hotel sector and creating new, interesting complementary products that would open many doors”. He underlined the importance of training and knowledge, “fundamental factors from our – the Council’s – point of view. Knowledge is a fundamental pillar in our competitive strategy in the sector…It’s something we value as we were missing it in the past but today we are a university campus, we now have our first graduate class and we continue in this vein”.

Arona’s mayor, José Julián Mena, told the conference that the Arona borough, which he has been mayor of for just over year now, was “working to evolve a new tourism strategy. We are about to set up a well-researched marketing plan, and we are here to learn and advance, building a space that promotes social harmony as something attractive for tourists as well as creating a borough that is open and caring for our residents”.

Maria Teresa Lorenzo Rodríguez, the regional minister for tourism, culture and sports, asked if there was a new tourism model for the Canarias. “Our destination is currently highly successful and the data reflects that. We hope to end the year having welcomed 15 million tourists maintaining our position as the leading sun and beach European destination for overnight stays and the leading region in job creation. So, we are content but we know that we need to advance our tourism model, adapting to the demands of the 21st tourist without losing our essence”.

Alberto Bernabé, the Tenerife Cabildo tourism chief, said this was a highly relevant gathering as “you couldn’t consider Tenerife without tourism which has been the headline in the region’s development, our spine, affecting everyone”.

The AECIT president stressed how it was important to “recognise the distinct factors and paradoxes if we wanted to find the correct responses. We are in a world of transparent tourism where the whole world is accessible and we can’t turn our back on that. The digital world brings important changes. Training is an element in our competitivity”, he stressed.

Department of Communications