"There will be no 'tourism-phobia' here," says Andalucía's minister in charge

The tourism minister speaking in Malaga.
The tourism minister speaking in Malaga. / Salvador Salas
  • The region's tourism boss reassured businesses at a meeting in Malaga that visitors would still be welcomed by locals but added that tourists need to spread out more

The regional minister for Tourism, Francisco Javier Fernández has issued a call for calm to local businesses following a wave of isolated attacks on tourism in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands.

Speaking in Malaga, the person responsible for promoting Andalucía to visitors and increasing tourist numbers said that the so-called “tourism-phobia” experienced in other areas of Spain this summer won’t happen in this region.

“In Andalucía tourism isn’t a problem at all,” he said. But he encouraged the sector to think about ways to better distribute tourists to under-visited areas of the region to take pressure off crowded parts, and so avoid any conflict between visitors and locals.

According to Fernández, while 70 percent of visitors to Catalonia are concentrated on Barcelona and tourism is the dominant industry on the Balearics by far, Andalucía, due to its sheer size has much more diversity.

Harmony with locals

He added that the aim should be that “no local feels like a visitor in their own city”and that a tourist “feels part of the city, and can experience it as the locals do”.

To this end he said that visitors to cities must be spread out to avoid tourist ‘ghettos’ emerging.

In an effort to support this strategy, the Junta de Andalucía has launched an international promotional campaign designed to encourage visits out of season and to parts of the region that are less well-known. Covering publicity in 15 countries, it targets seven segments of the market including golf, inland tours and culture.

Spain has received record visitor numbers this year, and some busy areas have expressed concern over the impact on local residents of this growth.