Why being competitive matters!

 

Spanish minister visits South Tenerife

Spain’s tourism minister was in South Tenerife today and met with the mayors of the Canarian Tourism Boroughs Association (AMTC) who impressed on her the need to improve funding to aid in upgrading many aspects of the sector.

Reyes Maroto met with the mayors who are part of the AMTC who outlined the realities of the sector to her during her working visit, as well as the challenges and objectives for the top line Canarian destinations in the coming years to ensure they remain competitive.

José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, president of the AMTC; and José Julián Mena, Arona mayor, welcomed the minister to the Arona Gran Hotel on behalf of the association. Also present were Marco Aurelio Pérez, mayor of San Bartolomé, Onalia Bueno, mayor of Mogán, and Pedro Martín, mayor of Guía de Isora. The minister was accompanied by regional government representative Elena Máñez and the director general of Turespaña, Héctor Gómez. During the morning the minister visited different parts of the zone.

 

Commenting on the visit, Rodríguez Fraga said, “it would seem that, at last, Madrid is realising the value of tourism in the Canarias and what we, the main tourism boroughs, contribute to the Spanish economy and society”. There was reference to the national budget allocation to the region- 1% – regardless of the fact that these tourism boroughs contribute 30% of the Canarian GDP and 6% at national level. The association continues to press for the national government to change the manner of costing and finance to reflect the contribution made by the member boroughs. This is in light of the fact that funding is allocated from central government based on the numbers of residents registered even though in many of the tourism boroughs the actual numbers of people living and staying there and using municipal services is far in excess of the resident register numbers. This inconsistency can affect important bodies too like regional police and other security details.

There was a question as to whether the PITCAN, a Canarian tourism infrastructure plan involving regional and national administrations, should be reactivated,

Other matters discussed included the need for tourism boroughs to be at the vanguard of digitial innovations – “5G is the future and we need to improve our digital connectivity” – said the mayor of San Bartolomé de Tirajana. “If we want to remain competitive and ahead of our rivals, the digital agenda has to be addressed”.

Pedro Martín and Onalia Bueno outlined to the minister the importance of a transversal axis of administrations and other bodies. “Tourism is more than promotion. It brings a series of needs and realities together that need to be managed, issues of quality and good service, caring for those who live here as well as those who visit and use the local services and infrastructure”.

Department of Communications