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Spain seeks to attract more British visitors and lead sustainable tourism

Spain seeks to attract more British visitors and lead sustainable tourism

Attracting more British visitors, especially with purchasing power, and leading the global movement towards sustainable tourism are the two objectives of the Spanish Government in the world tourism fair "World Travel Market" (WTM), said the minister of the branch on Monday, Maroto Kings.

Maroto presented his priorities at a press conference convened at the beginning of the event, which takes place between the 4 and the November 6 at the ExCel site in East London, with the presence of some 5.000 exhibitors from around the world.

Attracting more British visitors, especially with purchasing power, and leading the global movement towards sustainable tourism are the two objectives of the Spanish Government in the world tourism fair "World Travel Market" (WTM), said the minister of the branch on Monday, Maroto Kings.

Maroto presented his priorities at a press conference convened at the beginning of the event, which takes place between the 4 and the November 6 at the ExCel site in East London, with the presence of some 5.000 exhibitors from around the world.

With contracts for more than 3.500 million euros closed last year, the WTM, which meets its 40 edition, is a key event for the Spanish tourism sector, given that the United Kingdom is also its main issuing market.

Maroto said that, between today and Tuesday, he will work on "loyalty to the British tourist in holiday tourism but also to attract tourists to other segments, such as nature, sports, culture and heritage or business tourism" .

The latest data on increased spending in Spain, released Monday by the National Statistics Institute (INE), indicate that progress is "on the right track" in order to "make the tourism offer profitable," said the head of Industry, Commerce and Tourism

According to the INE, Spain received 67,1 millions of foreign tourists between January and September of 2019, which represents an increase of 1,3% with respect to the same period of 2018 -weighing three consecutive months of fall-, and its spending increased by 3% , up to 73.830 million euros.

For autonomies, the growth of an 0,6% of Catalonia, up to 15,6 million tourists, and the two declines of the Balearic and Canary Islands, due, in Maroto's opinion, not to the effect of the bankruptcy of British tour operator Thomas Cook, which has not yet stood out has been measured, but "to the fall of the German market" by the slowdown in its economy.

The United Kingdom remains the main point of emission of tourists for Spain, despite the fall registered by the effect of the process of "brexit" or departure from the country of the European Union (EU), which must be finalized on January 31 and that in part, according to the minister, "has already been discounted."

On the impact of the collapse of Thomas Cook, which occurred in September, Maroto warned that "we will have to wait to know the tourism data from October" to evaluate it, although he foresaw that "it will be noticed" in the figures of the last trimester.

This data will also be influenced by "the recent instability registered in Catalonia due to the reaction to the sentence" to the independence leaders, he predicted, and urged the Generalitat to promote "normalcy and coexistence" in order to maintain "the recovery of tourism" achieved between January and September, compared to the losses of a year ago.

The absence of concrete figures on "the real impact" of the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook, which has been acquired by the Chinese group Fosun, does not mean that the Spanish Government abandons "its shock measures," Maroto said.

He explained that last Thursday "the Delegate Committee on Economic Affairs approved the line of the Official Credit Institute (ICO), which will finance all companies affected by bankruptcy" and, in the case of the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands, "the entire tourism sector, to avoid the domino effect".

"I want to reassure those affected by Thomas Cook that this Government serves everyone," said the head of Tourism.

The other great objective of the Spanish Government in the WTM is, according to the minister, "to place tourism and sustainability on the agenda."

To do this, Tuesday will participate in a conference with representatives of institutions such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and associations such as the British ABTA to "align the tourism agenda with sustainability", in order to "make sustainability not a drag , but a pillar of tourism policy. "

"Quality happens because our tourism sector is more sustainable from both the environmental and social and economic points of view," said Maroto, who said that the December COB25 climate summit in Madrid, under the Chilean presidency, will be a good showcase. For these initiatives.

In the general context of the WTM, the market analysis company Euromonitor International revealed today that the global tourism sector will grow by 3,3% from here to 2024 and could reach a value of 3 trillions of dollars, partly due to the increase in sales via Internet.