“Tourism is more than promotion and marketing…”

At the most recent meeting of the AMTC, the Association of Tourism Towns in the Canarias, held in Arona, the committee released details of the first public conference of the body, ratified the selection of the technical secretariat of the association and welcomed new members.

Present at the meeting were the association president, Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga and the mayors of San Bartolomé de Tirajana, Marco Aurelio Pérez, of Arona, José Julian Mena, of Guía de Isora, Pedro Martin, as well as councillors Mencey Navarro and Alba Medina (Mogán), Ermitas Moreira (Adeje), David Peréz (Arona) and José Miguel Mena (Guía de Isora).

The meeting approved the membership of the borough of Pájara to the association, and the assumption is that over coming months other tourism boroughs will be joining as well.

Discussion was also held regarding the structure of the up and coming association conference, to be held on June 15th and 16th in the Costa Adeje Tourism Development Centre (CDTCA), the aim being, “to create a space for dialogue and exchange which will open new avenues for the advancement of the tourism model for the Canary Islands”, according to the association president.

The structure of the event will see up to 100 targeted individuals invited to participate, individuals from different public and private sectors, trades unions, education centres, national and international organisations including the World Tourism Organisation. Among issues to be discussed will be sustainable growth, training and employment in the sector, digitalisation and planning.

The conference is not, however, being planned as a forum or congress, “instead we want this to be a meeting place, an open participative body where authorities, intellectuals, workers and business can bring genuine proposals for discussion. Where we look beyond the description of tourism as solely a matter for promotion and marketing, where we recognise the need for serious ground work, in hotels, in the complementary industry, in infrastructure and services”, argued José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, “matters in which all town councils must be protagonists as it is they who must actively manage in this regard”.

The AMTC committee also accepted an invitation from the business forum, ‘Futurismo 2018’, to be held in Arona, where mayors of tourism towns will discuss relevant issues and needs of the most important tourism destinations in the Canaries, the sector which sustains the economy of the region. La I Conferencia de Municipios Turísticos de Canarias se celebrará el 15 y 16 de junio en Adeje

Improvements in bus service announced

 

Bus station upgrade and new route to improve public transport

This morning Carlos Alonso, president of the island Cabildo, was in the Costa Adeje bus station to announce details of a new route, improvements to some important existing ones, and changes and increased parking in the bus station itself. All the changes are geared towards improving the public transport service available to residents and visitors here.

From September the new route, the 424, links Los Cristianos and Costa Adeje via Torviscas Alta, passing by the borough’s main theme parks and commercial centres. The route is in respond to public demand and will benefit both residents and tourists.

Speaking at the announcement of the new route, Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodriguez Fraga underlined “the importance of a good public transport service for both residents and tourists “, adding that the Adeje council would continue to work with the Cabildo to improve that service for all.

Cabildo president Carlos Alonso referred to the need to continue to work to improve transport options and said sustainability was linked directly to a properly working public service. He also alluded to the need for improvements in north-south links on the island.

Titsa, the public service bus company, also announced changes to the 483 route which links Los Cristianos and Los Abrigos, extending operating hours until 00.15am, serving Las Chafiras and Golf del Sur. The 473 (Los Cristianos – Costa Adeje – Callao Salvaje) will also extend its hours of service to 00.10am and the last bus will leave Los Gigantes at 1.30am. The company have added six extra runs to the 110 Saturday service between Costa Adeje and Santa Cruz.

The station in Costa Adeje is also due for an overhaul and the plans include extra parking to allow commuters use the station and the bus services on offer with increased ease.

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Tourists and Urban Waste – a rubbish conundrum?

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This week the first meeting of a project known as UrBan Waste is taking place here in Adeje. Rubbish might sound like a boring subject for a European conference, but when you consider that globally the tourism industry is responsible for the production of 35 million tonnes of solid waste annually, the need for new flexible rubbish reuse and recycling strategies in tourist destinations makes sense.

The UrBan Waste project will be co-ordinated by the Canarian Government and has a number of pilot urban and semi-urban areas around Europe taking part. They includes Adeje, Arona and Puerto de la Cruz. Other destinations involved include Copenhagen in Denmark, Dubrovnik Neretva in Croatia, Kavala in Greece, Nice (France), Lisbon in Portugal, Nicosia in Cyprus and Syracuse in Italy. The destinations have been chosen as much for their tourist relevance as their variety so that strategies and policies that emerge as successful from the pilot projects can be applied on a much wider scale.

Up to now, in general, towns tended to design urban waste systems with the resident population as the important factor – but this project wants to change that in areas where the visitor influxes can see local populations increase by anything from two to 10 times the resident number. Among the aims would be the reduction of solid waste generated by tourists by up to 40% by 2022 and by 80% by 2030 while in parallel increasing the amount of tourist-generated waste recycled by up to 50% in 2022 and by 80% in 2030.

At the ‘kick off’ meeting in the FIT (Factory for Tourism Innovation) today the Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga said that Adeje was already working in the field of waste treatment with sustainable projects, “in particular in tourist areas, and we will continue to work along these lines and improve in terms of sustainability and environmental care because we are well aware that recycling, reuse and the reduction of waste are fundamental in the evolution of a modern society”.

The project planners are promoting Urban Metabolism as a form model, an integrated platform that examines material and energy flows shaped by social, economic and environmental forces. The model will be used to quantify the impact of tourism on the metabolic cost for towns and cities, and also for the development of waste prevention and management strategies. The direction will be to redefine waste as a resource, which will also mean a shift in economic focuses with the creation of ‘green’ job opportunities.

There are many factors to be taken into consideration in the study and subsequent policies that will be developed out of this project. Important too is that while a tourist zone can develop a local strategy for reducing waste production and education of the resident population on the benefits of reuse and recycling, tourists arrive from different countries and cultures with other customs and habits. They are here for a short stay so there needs to be flexible policies in place to encourage them to care for their holiday resort too. Take into consideration the fact that statistically every tourist generates twice as much solid waste as a resident, and the problem is apparent.

Who knew there was so much to consider in rubbish – but what we do know, those of us who live here, is that this is a relatively small island, with limited land mass, so alternatives to dumping and rubbish storage need to be found and supported.

Alexandra’s Abinque

 

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The award was presented by the Canarian vice-president and mayor of Adeje 

The Canarian government vice-president, Patricia Hernández, and the Adeje mayor, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, presentented Alexandra Rinder with the borough’s annual Abinque prize at a ceremony in the CDTCA last night. The award ceremony was followed by the annual women’s dinner, attended by over 200 persons, organised by the department of equality.

Alexandra Rinder is a two-times world champion in body boarding and the youngest person to win the Abinque in the history of the award. Patricia Hernández underlined the importance of the increased presence of women in sport, and the visibility of “our champions. Tonight we are celebrating two things; those who have trodden this path before us, the women who opened the way for us, and let’s not forget that there is still some way to go before women and men are on an equal footing, and we also celebrate the women who have paved the way in sport, who have been to the fore”.

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The government vice-president said she was “delighted to be able to present this prize to the youngest ever to win the world title in the sport, and who has become a role model for young people. I feel so lucky to know young people like Alexandra who take on challenges, ride enormous waves in the same way that many overcome the enormous waves of sexism that still exist in the world of sport and in the world of surfing and bodyboarding.”

The mayor of Adeje said “equality between the sexes is something that matters to all of us, and is vitally important for the health of our communal co-existence. We are also aware that there is still a long way to go. There are many kinds of inequalities that need to be addressed, in a world where too often inequalities block personal development”. Regarding the winner, the mayor said she was an example of what can be achieved with strength of purpose, that dreams could become true. “The most important thing we have in this borough”, he continued, “isn’t that we have the best hotels or the best tourist destination, but our people, people such as Alexandra, who are changing the world. She is an example of then new Adeje person, who has actively contributed to our community today, with so many different nationalities, cultures and ways of life existing in harmony”.
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Prizewinner Alexandra Rinder, said she was “really proud to receive this award.” She thanked the Adeje council for having stood by her from the start of her career, believing in her from the time she rode her first waves in La Caleta. She added that it was important to remember that given that had been considered a minority sport but is now growing in statue thanks to the support of the borough. She also thanked her sponsors, her family and those who always believed in her, who give her the help she needed to realise her dreams. “There was always a lot of work, or tears and stress, but a lot of happiness too on a journey which has allowed me get to know different cultures, countries and people from all over the world, although nothing compares with coming home, coming back to Adeje, because I know my people are here”.

Alexandra Rinder is now the youngest person to have been awarded the Abinque prize. At the age of 16, when she won her first world title in bodyboarding she was also the youngest person to ever take the overall title, which she has now won twice as well as being the second Canarian to have taken the women’s title. In a sport generally considered the preserve of men, she has broken many barriers here and abroad and has also become an unofficial ambassador for Costa Adeje internationally particularly in the world of water sports.

Adeje mayor opens the door to The Pink Room

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Over 120 people attended the event inspired by Brigitte Gypen and the Walk for Life movement

Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, yesterday officially opened the door to The Pink Room, a space that is dedicated to offering help and more to those suffering from breast cancer and their families. The Pink Room is on the second floor of the School of Security and Co-existence in Las Nieves in Adeje.
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Addressing the 120 people who turned up for the opening, the mayor said “it’s very important that here in Adeje, in the area in general, we can have a space that can be used as a reference point for those who are engaged in the fight against breast cancer. This is also for those who are in seach of information, and those who maybe need that information, as early detection is vital. We also need to work to erradicate taboos surrounding breast cancer and offer solid information”:

He continued, “this is an ideal place to create a focus point for cooperation among medical professional, therapists, who are volunteering their services…I am inviting everyong to help create a unit that reflects solidarity and mutual help. And the Adeje council will always be here for you. It’s not by chance that we have created this space in the School of Security and Coexistence – this is security on a wider scale, not just policing, but also security of health, help for families, mediation… coexistence is integration”.

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Also present at the event was the Adeje councillor for Health Protection and Quality of Life Amada Trujillo Bencomo, and Brigitte Gypen, the woman behind the Walk for Life movement, who mentioned that the idea for the Pink Room was actually first raised in an interview with English Time on Radio Sur Adeje a few years ago. She said “this service is made possible through those who are working with us in a voluntary capacity, and we will be offering help but also hosting conferences, workshops…a lot more. This message I also want to send today is “we need you because we need people to make this place work”.

The Pink Room was conceived with the clear intention of creating a place to help and increase awareness about breast cancer. People affected, those who are working in the field professionally or on a volunteer basis, can use the room to talk about issues that affect those diagnosed with breast cancer, and also promote the vital importance of early detection as well as working on funding, communication avenues, treatments, research, etc.

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Councillor Amada Trujillo Bencomo said “we have to work to reinforce the importance of prevention and look at how we can help those affected. One in every eight women can become affected but with early detection there is an excellent chance of overcoming the cancer. With this Pink Room we will evolve into a meeting point, a place where people can come together to talk, to offer help and advice, psycological assistance if needed – and we will be working with the health centre to promote prevention”.

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Shaken and stirred in Costa Adeje

The X Costa Adeje Cocktail Competition will also be a qualifier for nationals and in parallel the borough will host the Costa Adeje Gin & Tonic Schweppes Trophy

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The Adeje council have announced details of the X Costa Adeje Cocktail Competition which this year will also be a classification round for Federation of Spanish Barmen’s Associations – F.A.B.E. At the same time the Costa Adeje Gin & Tonic Schweppes Trophy will also be taking place.

During the presentation of the event, which takes place on Friday February 27th, the mayor Jose Miguel Rodríguez Fraga was joined by Jorge Marichal, president of Ashotel, the provincial hoteliers association, and Antonio Mesa of the Tenerife Barmen Association. The mayor said it was excellent to be able to support this event which “is another way of promoting the destination as a leader in all aspects as this is also closely linked to tourism, which is about much more than beds and occupation statistics but also about the innovation within the sector”.

Jorge Marichal said he was delighted “to support gastronomic initiatives which worked to improve and diversify tourism and demonstrated the professionalism within the sector. Antonio Mesa said this was an event in which quality and innovation were the main ingredients in the cocktails that would be presented.

This year the event will also be a qualifier for the national cocktail competition which will take place in October in the hotel H10 Costa Adeje with the best bar men and women in the country and the winner of that competition will subsequently represent Spain in the world championships in Tokyo later this year.

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This year there are three categories, the Long Drink, Barman (27 years +) Barman Junior (-27 years) and the rules laid down by the organisers are very strict in terms of balance of alcohol and other ingredients to be used.
In parallel the Schweppes Trophy is being held with technique and taste the keys to the winning drink.
There will also be a master class with Vito Calculli, Italian barchef and mixologist based in Adeje, considered one of the leaders in innovation in the cocktail world. His workshop will be based on the elaboration of cocktails made with sea water and seaweeds, served for the first time in Spain, which, in the eyes of the experts, promote a new aspect of cocktails as a promoter of balance and the fusion of autonomous fresh Canarian ingredients. He has said that he is happy to speak English as well as Spanish during the masterclass if translations are needed.

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The mayor said “the council have also supported these kinds of events which bring added value to our borough and the Costa Adeje destination while also helping professionals within the gastronomy sector.”

The events, in the grounds of the CDTCA, will be open to the public.

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The Pink Wave is almost ready to roll

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“It brings more than a touch of humanity to a tourist zone”

Details were announced this morning of the 10th Walk for Life/Carrera por la Vida at a press conference in the Los Cristianos Cultural Centre where the mayors of Adeje and Arona and representatives from the Spanish Cancer Association and Amate joined the movement’s founder, Brigitte Gypen at the top table to announce final details of this year’s walk.

The walk, which Brigitte hopes “will bring together 3,000 people this year”, takes place on Sunday December 14th starting at 10.30am from the CC City Centre in Playa de Las Américas in Arona, with participants walking a bit further this year, to the Plaza de San Sebastián in La Caleta. Both the mayor of Adeje, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga and of Arona, Francisco José Niño congratulated Brigitte on her decade-long work in setting up and continuing this event which raises much needed funds for both cancer research and to help cancer sufferers and their families. Both mayors also spoke of the unifying nature of the walk, and Brigitte herself said there are participants, both residents and tourists, from many different countries, who are looking forward to coming together to walk in unity.

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The Adeje mayor, José Miguel Rodriguez Fraga said “this is an event based on solidarity that brings together businesses, institutions, persons and organisations and also helps makes the issue a visible one. It also brings more than a touch of humanity to a tourist zone”. Arona’s mayor, Francisco José Niño said this was about more than uniting Arona and Adeje “this is about all of us, together”, promising this year we would see “a spectacular pink wave”.

As well as walking there will be events taking place both at the start of the walk and at the end, live music and entertainment, a steel drum band to keep the walking pace up, courtesy buses for those who might not manage the full distance, and many surprises along the way. Radio Sur Adeje will also host a live radio marathon based in the square in La Caleta during the morning – you can listen in locally on 107.9FM.

Each person who registers (do get there early to register please) will receive some ‘pink’ goodies, and more can be bought on the day, and you will also be given a ticket which will enter you into a draw with a host of super prizes including weekends in many fine hotels in South Tenerife as well as a Fred Olsen cruise. You can also fill in one of the ‘I am walking for……’ placards which allows you name a person or association that you are supporting if you like. Brigitte also reminded participants to ensure they have adequate sun cream and that there would be drinks and fruit along the way to refresh the walkers.

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Callao Salvaje and Playa Paraíso to be linked at last

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A n iron and wood bridge is to be built over the barranco (ravine)

Work is due to begin this week on the long-awaited path that will link Callao Salvaje and Playa Paraíso.

At a packed meeting in the Callao Salvaje cultural centre the Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga joined local councillor Amada Trujillo Bencomo and councillor for works Gonzalo Delgado Diaz and the council’s architect to detail the plans, as well as mention other projects in the pipeline for both neighbourhoods. There was a translator present at the meeting to facilitate the many non-Spanish born residents who attended.

The mayor told the residents, “This meeting has two objectives – to let you know about the works that will begin now to join the two neighbourhoods and to invite all those present to continue to work together on local initiatives for the area”. He continued, “ we are aware of the on-going efforts by those who live in the these communities, how they are working to solve local problems and we are delighted to continue to encourage you to keep us informed, voice your opinions to help us improve where you live. This work will see an historic union of these two neighbourhoods who, have always been united in many ways.

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“The work we are now undertaking comes under the wider umbrella of improving and modernising the borough in areas where it is needed and we hope it meets some of the genuine needs of the area, an area that is very important to our borough”, he said.

The project will see work to regulate the pathway that already exists along the cliff top in Callao Salvaje, with signposting and bins, with upgrading to remove any danger to pedestrians, and improvements to the existing maritime paths along the Playa Paraíso side ending along the Calle El Horno. To link the two villages an iron and wood bridge is to be built over the barranco (ravine). The base will be reinforced cement, and all the structures have been approved by the national Coastal department. The plans will be available in the Adeje Cultural Centre within two weeks for those who wish to see them.

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The residents of both villages welcomed the news and were also pleased to hear of other plans for the near future in the area including a park for dogs, and a roadway linking Callao Salvaje and Posto al Sole.

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Going greener in Adeje

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The initiative will be used to help groups currently with no income

The mayor of Adeje, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, recently paid a visit to the ecological orchard and vegetable garden in Las Nieves, where a group of 20 people have been working and training in gardening and ecological farming. The initiative was developed as a way of targeting groups of individuals who currently have no access to an independent income.

The mayor, commenting on the project, said, “In a modern society such as ours we cannot forget our origins, where we come from. This particular project reinforces that as well as giving these individuals a future with new potential. We have opened some doors to employment for groups of individuals that are more vulnerable, people who can now look for proper work with the training and knowledge they require”.

The mayor continued, “this group of people have now put into practice all the theory they have learnt and have developed an ecological orchard and vegetable garden planted with different flowers, vegetables, herbs, etc, and in doing so they have contributed to the improvement of our borough”.

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For this reason the mayor said that “given the success of this project we are now considering extending the idea…and those people who have worked so hard to develop and maintain this plot may continue to work here”.

The initiative, collaboration between the council and the Cruz Roja, hasn’t just trained the group in agricultural basics, but also in the value and worth of local production. At the same time it has contributed to the improvement of the environment through the creation of greenhouses, gardens and orchards, etc. It works to preserve the environment, people can enjoy the local produce grown here and “we are helping people who need it most”, the mayor added.

During the training period the students – 14 women and 6 people with learning challenges – learnt about soil management, basic cultivation and use of ecological methods. There were also shown how to use farming implements, their maintenance and upkeep, and disinfection where applicable. Importantly too the group received instruction in the ecological methods of parasite and pathogen prevention and treatment. During the course students also received a grant of €200 a month.

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