Gardens and swimming pool of a hotel on the Costa del Sol. SUR
Junta de Andalucía allocates 40million euros in aid for tourism sector companies who invest in water-saving measures
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Junta de Andalucía allocates 40million euros in aid for tourism sector companies who invest in water-saving measures

Sustainability is becoming a keyword and business model for the tourism industry with the number of tourists expected to visit the region this year rising to 35 million

Pilar Martínez


Monday, 24 June 2024, 12:24

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Advancing towards a more sustainable tourism model is the great challenge that the Junta de Andalucía is focusing on. To this end, president of the regional government Juanma Moreno has announced an aid plan worth 40 million euros for tourism companies that invest in water-saving or water reuse systems, as well as in projects to adapt to climate change. It is some positive action at a time when water scarcity continues to be the biggest problem to be tackled for the region's economy.

"The challenge is to continue taking measures so that Andalucía remains a preferred destination for tourists, while at the same time putting to rights a business activity that has boosted local economies because tourism has to be an ally of the people and their well-being," said Moreno.

The Junta's head highlighted the importance of tourism as Andalucía's main industry. "Tourism is one of the most powerful businesses globally and an activity that last year moved 1.3 billion people around the world and generated 1.4 trillion dollars," he said. He then pointed out how it is a fundamental activity in the economic structure of Andalucía and Spain, not only because of its economic weight in GDP, but also because in 2023 it closed with more than 34 million visitors and 26.26 billion euros in revenue for the region. In his opinion, tourism is spearheading the consolidation of a sustainable, digital and innovative economy and is a driving force for many other sectors that employ thousands of citizens of Andalucía annually.

Healthy forecasts

Moreno has great expectations of Andalucía's tourism sector, including an increase in the number of tourists expected this year to 35 million visiting the region. This optimism is based on the fact that the first four months of the year netted 5 billion euros from international tourism alone. However, despite this growth, he stressed that the region is prepared to continue evolving in a more sustainable manner. "There is a new tourism model in Andalucía where the companies and middlemen involved in tourism, the governing bodies, other interested parties and the travellers themselves are the protagonists of a change and of a tourism industry that is moving towards a less seasonal, more intelligent model, with greater job stability in the sector and which collaborates in the preservation of natural and cultural resources. In short, a higher quality tourism that benefits the economy and Andalusian society as a whole."

The Junta president insisted that "sustainability is not an option, but the response that we have to apply to every action undertaken in the field of tourism. The idea is to promote initiatives for a better distribution of tourism in the region and throughout the year", highlighting the role played in this new model by the villages in inland Andalucía, which already represents 20% of the annual volume of tourism trade.

Moreno's final words were on improving employment in tourism. Under the new business model seasonality is better managed and greater job stability is also promoted. "Sustainable tourism guarantees more stable employment for people when more qualifications are provided or when programmes for the acquisition of digital skills are offered, such as those being put into place in the Andalusian region. These measures are in favour of employment and those working in tourism, and they will improve the position of a sector that in 2024 is expected to employ more than 416,000 Andalusians, one of the best figures on record."

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