The Secretary of State for Tourism, Fernando Valdés, urged today to advance in an "international response as coordinated and coherent as possible" that allows "to reactivate mobility in a safe way" while the vaccination campaign advances in various regions of the world.
This has been stated in his speech at the World Tourism Crisis Committee of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), which meets today in Madrid for the seventh time since its creation last March and on the eve of the 113th Executive Council of the UNWTO which will take place tomorrow.

“2021 has to be the year in which we begin the recovery of tourism. We are hopeful about the vaccination process and the effects it may have on the recovery of international mobility. While the vaccination process advances, we must progress in parallel in the reestablishment of international flows in a safe way, ”stressed Valdés, who represents the Spanish Government at the meeting of the Committee on the World Tourism Crisis, created to promote coordination and propose recommendations aimed at mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism sector and accelerating the recovery.

In the same sense, the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism had pronounced, Reyes Maroto, during an informative breakfast, in which he pointed out that the Government is working, within the framework of the OECD, on a common vaccination certificate that allows the recovery of international mobility and tourism in a safe way. "Vaccination is key" to regain mobility and allow the entire tourism sector to reopen.

Before the UNWTO Crisis Committee, which brings together UNWTO members and the main private representatives of the sector, Valdés recalled that the Spanish Government “remains firmly committed to the proposal to test passengers at origin, before they undertake their trip, as an alternative formula to quarantines ”. The Secretary of State has shown his conviction that soon there will be less invasive and expensive means to test passengers with the same reliability and sensitivity as a PCR test and has asked to take into account that, although vaccination has already started in the Union Europe and other regions of the world, we will still have to live with the virus in the coming months.

Vaccination certificate

In his speech before the Committee, Valdés expressed Spain's support for the work that is being carried out at the European and international level so that vaccination facilitates the flow of people and promotes tourism in 2021.

In this sense, it has opted for establishing a harmonized vaccination certificate, not as a requirement to be able to travel, but as a document that can facilitate the freedom of movement of those who demonstrate that they are correctly vaccinated. "We also have to promote international initiatives that guarantee the vaccination of all the world's inhabitants regardless of their place of residence," said Valdés, who has warned that vaccination cannot produce discriminatory effects on visitor flows or capacity host destinations.

The heads of the delegations participating in the Executive Council of the UNWTO will be received this afternoon by the Kings at the Royal Palace of El Pardo, in an act in which the Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, will also participate. "For all the members of the Executive Council this reception has great symbolic value for the support of the Royal Household to the tourism sector, at a particularly critical moment due to the negative impact of the pandemic," said the minister, thanking the UNWTO the work developed in these months in support of the tourism sector globally.

Maroto, together with the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, will participate tomorrow in the Executive Council that must propose a candidate to the General Secretariat of the UNWTO for the period 2022-2025.

Source of the new

The Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, has chaired today the joint Sectorial Conference on trade and tourism, with the aim of reinforcing the collaboration of all public administrations – AGE, Autonomous Communities and City Councils – to give a joint and coordinated response to the sectors of commerce, tourism and the hospitality industry to ensure its viability while the pandemic lasts.

Source of the new

Today, the Council of Ministers approved a Reinforcement Plan for the hotel industry, tourism and commerce with new measures that aim to alleviate the situation of companies and freelancers related to these activities and meet their fixed costs such as salaries, leases or payment of taxes , among others, to allow them to maintain their viability and not be forced to close as a result of the pandemic.

For the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, “It is a battery of measures necessary for sectors that have been severely affected by the pandemic and that need more protection so that they can maintain their activity and employment. It was a commitment of this Government and we have fulfilled it so as not to leave anyone behind. The measures we approved today reinforce existing ones such as ERTEs, where we incorporate new hyper-protected sectors – such as restaurants and food stalls – and we create a new ICO line for these sectors with public guarantees of 90%. There are also new measures such as tax cuts, tax debt deferrals and social security contributions. Also noteworthy are the measures to reduce the burden of rents that apply to both large holders and other lessors, incorporating tax incentives in the latter case. In short, the Government approves a new package of measures to guarantee the survival of companies and maintain employment in strategic sectors for our country. A plan that also complements the aids that have been approved by different autonomous communities and municipalities, which can also be reinforced within the framework of their competences, since this will achieve greater protection for the sectors that need it most ”.

The measures contained in the Plan are divided into five large blocks:

Block 1.- Measures aimed at leasing business premises

In the event that the landlord is a large holder (10 or more premises) if the parties do not reach an agreement, the lessee who is an SME or self-employed person may choose between the following alternatives:

A.- A 50% reduction in the rental rent for the duration of the state of alarm, its extensions, and up to a maximum period of four additional months from the end of the state of alarm.

B.- A moratorium on the payment of the rent for the duration of the state of alarm, its extensions and up to a maximum period of four additional months from the end of the state of alarm. The deferred payment of the rents may be made during a period of two years from the end of the moratorium.

The potential number of local beneficiaries would be 190,000, of which 33,000 correspond to premises related to tourism and 157,000 to commercial premises.

For the rest of the landlords of premises, a tax incentive With which it is intended that the natural persons who rent the premises in which certain economic activities related to the tourism sector, hospitality and commerce are carried out, voluntarily agree to reductions in the rent corresponding to the months of January, February and March 2021, allowing to compute as a deductible expense for the calculation of the return on real estate capital the amount of the rent reduction agreed during such months. This incentive has an estimated cost of € 324M and allows deducting up to 100% of the amount of the monthly rent in the event that the landlord lowers the entire rent. It is estimated that 323,701 lessors can take advantage of the measure

Block 2.- Liquidity and solvency measures

The first is the widening of the lack of loans guaranteed by ICO lines and by the reciprocal guarantee companies of the different autonomous communities with re-guarantee from CERSA, as well as their amortization period, a measure approved on November 24 by the Council of Ministers. Specifically, the extension for an additional year of the grace period was implemented for the repayment of ICO loans, as long as the total grace period does not exceed 24 months, and of the SGR guarantees with re-guarantee from CERSA, as well as the period amortization, in a maximum of 3 years, without being able to exceed 8 years the total maturity of the operation. This measure will benefit more than 256,000 companies in the tourism, hospitality and commercial sectors and implies a reduction in financial effort as a result of the postponement in the repayment of principal and interest on loans guaranteed by the State.

The second is the creation of a new section of the ICO guarantee line approved in Royal Decree-Law 25/2020, for SMEs and the self-employed in the tourism sector, hospitality and related activities endowed with € 500M and with up to a 90% guarantee. This line will allow companies heavily affected by COVID-19 such as travel agencies, discretionary transport and the accommodation sector to obtain financing by increasing the public guarantee of guarantees by 10 points compared to the ICO COVID-19 line.

On the other hand, travel agencies and tour operators and reservation services may use the financing endorsed by the ICO for the return of customer advances for package tours and compensation rights.

Finally, within this block of financing, the creation of a Reciprocal Guarantee Society of an exclusively tourist nature is proposed, which aims to facilitate access to financing through guarantees. Its capacity to inject liquidity is 700% of its capital.

Block 3.- Tax measures

First, a new edition of the deferral of tax debts which was regulated by Royal Decree-Law 7/2020, which allows deferral for 6 months, with 3 without interest, upon request, tax debts corresponding to declarations-settlements and self-assessments whose term of presentation and income ends from day 1 from April to April 30, 2021, both inclusive, so that instead of entering in April, debts would be paid in October. In this way, possible treasury tensions that SMEs and the self-employed may experience are avoided. The potentially deferred amount would amount to some 2,668 million euros. The total number of people benefiting from the postponements would be about 617,000 taxpayers, of which about 92,000 are from the HORECA (hotels and restaurants) and 68,000 taxpayers are from retail trade.

Another tax measure included in the plan is increase the reduction in taxation by the module system in personal income tax from the current 5% to 20% in general by 2020. However, for the sectors that have been most affected by the measures adopted to combat COVID-19, such as the hospitality, commerce and tourism, that reduction in taxation by modules it will reach 35%. This measure will be applied for the fourth installment payment of 2020 and for the first payment of 2021. In fact, the reductions of 20% in general and 35% for tourism, hospitality and commerce, will also be applied in taxation of the simplified VAT regime corresponding to the accrued share of 2020 and the first quarterly installment of 2021. The estimated amount of the reduction of personal income tax or VAT would amount to € 117 million. The number of beneficiaries of this measure for the tourism and commercial sector is 132,000 contributors.

Other tax measures are the reduction of the number of tax periods affected by the waiver of the objective estimation method in personal income tax; the exemption provided for remuneration in kind for the company canteen service, applicable to the consumption of food both in delivery and take away; the deductibility of losses due to impairment of the credits derived from the possible insolvencies of debtors and the reduction of the term that the amounts owed by the lessees are considered to be a doubtful balance.

Block 4.- Labor measures and Social Security

The exemptions provided for in the first additional provision of Royal Decree-Law 30/2020 are extended from social measures in defense of employment to certain economic sectors to the following subsectors that become hyper-protected: wholesale trade of beverages, restaurants and food stalls, beverage establishments, and activities of botanical gardens, zoos and nature reserves .

This measure is applied in December 2020 and January 2021 and its extension will be determined in the new social agreement that is being negotiated with unions and employers for all sectors protected by the ERTE.

Other measure includes the postponement in the payment of Social Security contributions. It is an extension of the measure adopted in RDL 11/2020. This measure has been included in the PGE 2021 Law and companies (fees accrued between December 2020 and February 2021) and self-employed (fees accrued between the months of January to March 2021) may benefit. The interest rate for deferrals will be 0.5% and the impact will amount to 205 million euros.

In the field of Social Security, companies engaged in activities framed in the tourism, trade and hospitality sectors, may apply a 50% discount on Social Security contributions for hiring discontinuous fixed lines from April to October 2021. The cost will be about 73 million euros.

Block 5.- Regulatory measures

Requirements for maintaining regional incentives are made more flexible. Regional incentives are financial aid granted by the Government to productive investment to promote business activity, orienting its location towards specific areas. They consist of non-refundable grants and are intended to alleviate inter-territorial imbalances. It is estimated that this measure will benefit some 615 business investment projects that are currently in force or in the phase of maintaining employment and / or investments, with a total associated subsidy of more than € 740 million, of which around 40% correspond to aid to the tourism sector.

I also know extends moratorium to file bankruptcy.

Finally establishes a transitional regime for areas with high tourist influx by 2021. The pandemic has caused the fall of tourists, so the areas would not meet the established criteria. For this reason, the data referring to the year 2020 on inhabitants, overnight stays and cruise passengers in ports where tourist cruises operate will not be applicable. The average of the previous three years will be used.

Source of the new

The Secretary of State for Tourism has made available to the sector a new guide of sanitary recommendations against COVID-19 directed specifically to ski and mountain resorts and whose main objective is to prevent infections between workers and clients.

"With the publication of this guide, we continue a coordinated work with the Autonomous Communities, businessmen and unions of the sector to provide us with a common security protocol that also aspires to be an international benchmark", said the Secretary of State for Tourism, Fernando Valdés . "This is the best instrument to accompany the opening of ski resorts," continues Valdés.

This manual has been prepared by the Institute for Spanish Tourist Quality, commissioned by the Secretary of State for Tourism, and has had the collaboration of the Tourist Association of Ski and Mountain Resorts, the Catalan Association of Ski Resorts and Activities de Montaña, territorial sector organizations, in addition to having been agreed with the Spanish Association of Labor Prevention Services, PRLInnovación, and with the CCOO and UGT unions. The resulting document has the validation of the Ministry of Health.

Preventive measures

The protocol contemplates as general measures the planning of work tasks, guaranteeing the safety distance, the identification of workers who are especially sensitive to the risk of contagion and the supply of adequate individual protection equipment for employees, who should be given time and the means for proper hand hygiene.

The guide recommends daily natural ventilation of the facilities for as long as possible, disinfecting work clothes and preventing workers from sharing work tools and transport vehicles.

It also advises installing hand disinfection points for visitors, promoting the online sale of passes, installing screens when it is not possible to maintain a safe distance from customers at the ticket office and disinfecting rented equipment such as poles, skis, boots, etc. between each use, as well as the lockers and all the facilities for common use, among other measures.

This guide is added to the twenty protocols published in the summer and that will serve as the basis for the development of a safety standard in the tourism industry to reduce COVID infections, once work has begun to convert them in ISO standards.

Source of the new

The Smart Tourist Destinations Network has today incorporated the first international destinations – Tequila (Mexico) and Medellín (Colombia) – who will be able to participate in all the work sessions and meetings organized by the Network and who will have the category of regular observer members, due to the growing interest that the Smart Tourist Destinations program promoted by the Government of Spain is having around the world.

For the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, “the participation of cities outside of Spain in the Network of Smart Tourist Destinations (DTI) is excellent news as it gives this network a greater international projection. The DTIs will play a prominent role in the process of transforming the tourism model towards a more digital, sustainable, accessible and safe tourism, and from the Government of Spain we will promote these destinations within the framework of the Modernization and Competitiveness Plan for the sector tourism that includes the roadmap for the recovery of tourism and will mobilize in the next three years more than 3,400 million euros of European funds ”.

Executive Committee DTI Network

Both Tequila and Medellín have been evaluated by the DTI methodology of the Secretary of State for Tourism, developed by SEGITTUR, which today has given the mayor of Medellín, Daniel Quintero, the distinction as the first Intelligent Tourist Destination in Colombia, after being evaluated in more of 400 requirements related to the five axes of the model.

For its part, the Executive Committee of the DTI Network, meeting today, has approved the incorporation of 34 new destinations, including the Group of World Heritage Cities of Spain, as well as all the cities that are part of it .

Among the destinations that have joined the DTI Network today include the municipalities of Alcudia, Antigua, Ávila, Baeza, Cangas de Narcea, Córdoba, Écija, Frigiliana, Guía de Isora, Guijuelo, Granada, Ibiza / Eivissa, La Adrada, La Oliva, Madrigal de la Altas Torres, Mérida, Mogán, Pájara, La Palma del Condado, San Cristóbal de La Laguna, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Santiago de Compostela, Santiago del Teide, Segovia, Tarragona, Teguise, Tías, Úbeda; as well as the Cabildo Insular de La Palma; the Insullar Council of Menorca and the Diputación de Cáceres.

After the incorporation of these new destinations, the DTI Network is made up of 232 members, of which 153 are destinations, 43 are companies and 31 institutions.

During the Executive Committee, chaired by the Secretary of State for Tourism, Fernando Valdés, the work carried out throughout 2020 was reviewed, where the leading role that the Network of Smart Tourist Destinations has acquired has been highlighted, already which has become a meeting point, where experiences, concerns and initiatives have been shared.

In 2020, within the DTI Network, guides have been created to reactivate tourism in destinations, semantics manuals adapted to the times of COVID, a catalog of technological solutions and many other initiatives, whose objective has always been to boost the sector in such a difficult time.

Source of the new

The Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, and the General Director of TURESPAÑA, Miguel Sanz, have presented a new communication strategy with the claim "Travel Safe" that is inspired by two objectives: firstly, to inform about the requirements and conditions for the realization of safe trips and, secondly, to inspire and influence the intention purchase of travelers, encouraging them to consume safe trips.

In her speech, the minister highlighted that “with this campaign we want to position the Spain tourism brand as a prescriber of travel safety and contribute to generating confidence in tourists to travel to our country again. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the inspiration, planning and reservation phase of the travel decision process is now added to the search for sanitary measures and conditions, both in the country of origin and in the country of destination. With this new communication campaign we offer an official and updated information service to help restore confidence and security in the traveler ”.

Travel Safe is a 360º communication strategy based on informative content on safety and precautionary measures, which will be developed through a microsite with information for the traveler integrated into the official tourism portal,, in Spanish and nine languages ​​more.

An interactive microsite

An interactive map of Spain will configure the microsite that will also incorporate a technological application – entirely Spanish – that updates the information on a daily basis, both on the entry requirements to Spain and the measures adopted by each of the Autonomous Communities. In this way, the traveler can easily consult all the information related to perimeter closures, mobility restrictions, capacity in restaurants, and other tourist services.

The content of the microsite "Travel Safe", "Travel Safe", is presented in a simple way, providing the keys, tools and content to travel better and safer. Information so that the traveler can know all the preventive measures and regulations before, during and after the trip. The contents are structured according to the type of destination, as well as sun destinations and safe beaches, enjoying safe nature and safe urban tourism; contents that will be expanded. And on the supply side, there is talk of security in hotels, restaurants, museums, with a link to the different protocols that the tourism subsectors have.

The microsite will also offer official information on the measures imposed by the different countries for travelers from Spain (diagnostic tests requirements, quarantines)

In addition to the microsite, the strategy in own media is completed with a communication plan on TURESPAÑA's social networks, the dissemination of the newsletter through CRM, and public relations actions. To reinforce communication in own media, a 100% digital paid media campaign will be launched that will combine actions of programmatic advertising, social ads and native advertising, in the main European source markets. Finally, we will also work with prescribers and "influencers" so that they echo our messages and contribute to its amplification.

The "Travel Safe" campaign will be launched in mature European markets such as the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Portugal, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Ireland and Poland. The campaign will last while the contagion prevention measures last, and is designed to coexist with other advertising campaigns of TURESPAÑA, to attract tourists.

Source of the new

The Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, this afternoon visited the recently remodeled Parador de León, Hostal de San Marcos, which will reopen its doors tomorrow, December 3, after three years of closure to undergo a comprehensive reform which has meant its total renovation.

For Reyes Maroto, the reopening of the Hostal de San Marcos is excellent news and has shown its satisfaction for having fulfilled its commitment to open the Parador in 2020 despite the difficulties of the pandemic. “As a Castilian and a Leonese, I am excited and looking forward to enjoying the wonders of the new parador, which in addition to being a hotel and restaurant is a new museum for León. Thanks to an investment of 15 million euros, León recovers one of the most emblematic establishments of the Paradores chain, which has a great value from the tourist point of view for Castilla y León and Spain, especially considering the start of the Xacobeo 2021, which will turn León and its parador into a meeting point for the thousands of pilgrims who walk the Camino de Santiago every year ”.

The minister also recalled that Paradores has worked to become the safest tourist destination to ensure the health of its employees and customers. "Along with safety, the social commitment of Paradores stands out, which has maintained all employment during the time that the works have lasted, also keeping our word".

For the president of Paradores, Oscar Lopez, “The reform was more than necessary. The Parador was wonderful and now it's going to be even better ”. López is convinced that "the reform will make all Leonese and all Spaniards proud of the Hostal de San Marcos."

The Parador de León exhibits some 500 works of art. These are the most important and representative works that, in addition, are now preferably located in common areas for the enjoyment of customers and visitors.

The set of pieces that wears in the Hostal de San Marcos has been completed with more than sixty works that were exhibited in other Paradores. According Maria Gimeno, head of the company's Art Collections: “We lacked important names in the art world who were in other establishments and who support the exhibition discourse to make it make much more sense now. They create a tour that the visitor will enjoy in a more active way and better understand what they are seeing ”.

From other establishments of the hotel chain, works by Pancho Cossío, Juan Barjola, Gloria Merino, Juana Francés, Rafael Canogar and Julio López Hernández arrive in León, as well as, among other pieces, two songs from the 15th century.

Paradores commissioned a commission of renowned art experts to select the pieces that will be displayed in the remodeled Hostal de San Marcos. Its mission has been to create a coherent exhibition discourse and "musealize" the works to compose a set that allows the maximum enjoyment of those who contemplate them. "Having had experts of this level in the world of art offers us a proposal very similar to what can be found in a museum," says Gimeno. For Luis Grau, director of the León Museum, “it is always difficult” to carry out a job of such magnitude, but here two very disparate artistic ensembles have been “combined” in a building that “has its own limitations”. "I think it has been resolved with some brilliance because we can see today practically all the heritage that San Marcos had before starting these works."

Walking through the rooms of the Parador de León allows, once again, to explore the history of Spain. Seven centuries of life make it a unique hotel in the world. Behind its walls, important episodes in the history of Spain have been forged: chapters of the Order of Santiago, illustrious confinements such as Quevedo's and tragic stages, such as its use as a concentration camp during the Spanish Civil War.

A project by the architect Mina Bringas

The Parador de León closed to the public three years ago, in December 2017, to undergo a comprehensive reform of its facilities in order to adapt them to new tourist demands. The reform has been very delicate due to the typology of the building. From its inception, various complications arose that forced us to adapt the architectural project to the structural reality. The project chosen by public tender was the one presented by the architect Mina Bringas and the contractor awarded for the execution was FCC.

The central idea of ​​the rehabilitation project of the Hostal de San Marcos -explains Mina Bringas- is “to recover the original volume of the building, a building with perimeter bays around a patio. This space is recovered as the heart of the building. We have called it atrium in reference to the Roman domus that was the center of the house from where all the uses were distributed ”.

For this, a closed interior atrium has been built, but with natural light. Now, this new recovered space will house the Parador's cafeteria and, above it, hung at a great height, it will be possible to contemplate in all its splendor the spectacular ceiling of Lucio Muñoz, which has been restored. "The Parador had this impressive work by Lucio Muñoz that was located in one of the rooms and to which they have now wanted to give prominence as the crowning of this building," says the architect.

Mina Bringas affirms that the intervention has been carried out with total respect for the historic building. It has been done "with care, always with actions that do not touch the original parameters, reversible in all cases and respectful of everything: with the material itself and with the volumetry of the original spaces". He describes the interior of the building as “a sober interior, with few materials. It does not compete with the outside world ”. The architect adds that “mainly natural stone, natural wood and then a dark color have been used that brings to me a bit the monastic air of a building of this type, with a cloister, which has had many uses, which has been convent or hospital ”.

Spaniards trust Paradores

The public company has always been a benchmark in terms of quality and reliability and, now more than ever, it has increased the cleaning and disinfection measures in all its establishments. According to Óscar López, president of the hotel chain, “we are a trusted destination. We have reinforced our hygiene and cleaning protocols so that our clients have the maximum guarantees of security with a personalized treatment and the quality that characterizes Paradores ”.

In a summer season marked by the drop in foreign tourism, Spaniards have trusted Paradores, which has reached an occupancy rate of 72% in July, 82% in August and 67% in September. The fact that most of its establishments are located in remote places, far from mass tourism, as well as the size of its hotels, almost all medium or small, facilitates the rigorous implementation of safety and hygiene controls to make them the place safer tourism where you can spend a few days off or hold family or business meetings.

Source of the new

The Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, today presented DATAESTUR, , a single national tourism data site where you can access the figures from different sources of information.

Maroto, who has been accompanied by the president of SEGITTUR, Enrique Martinez, has underlined the importance of having all the data in a single site, since this will help to have a single point of reference where to consult the information of the tourism sector in our country.

"Public managers will deploy better tourism policies if they have adequate data," said Maroto, who has emphasized the triple purpose of these actions: "To generate better public knowledge of the main magnitudes of tourism, to identify the public and private sources that can be useful to know the sector or make decisions about it, and design a system of production and access to data linked to the management of public problems of destinations, "added the minister.

The website starts with public tourism data, from traditional sources such as the National Institute of Statistics, the Bank of Spain, AENA, Puertos del Estado or Turespaña, among others, which will be updated as the official source does.

Structure of the data

The data will be structured in five categories: general data – arrivals of international tourists-; economy –tourist spending, contribution to GDP, employment-; transport – air passengers, passenger traffic through ports, trains and roads- and accommodation – hotel occupancy, price of accommodation – and knowledge – active listening, SICTUR and scientific tourism magazines-.

In addition to public data, it includes private data, in this case of the telephone operator Telefónica.

This initiative is part of a more ambitious project in which data analysis constitutes the basis for improving tourist knowledge, while at the same time helping to increase Spain's competitiveness as a tourist destination.

In this context of the data, a knowledge area has been created where active listening reports will be published with information about what is said on social networks about Spain as a tourist destination, as well as the interests of tourists when traveling to Spain Information that will be very useful for destination managers to better understand the behavior of tourists on the Internet at different stages of the trip.

"The power of data, key to knowledge"

Before the DATAESTUR presentation, the round table "The power of data, key to knowledge" took place with the participation of the Secretary of State for Tourism, Fernando Valdes; the president of the INE, Juan Manuel Rodriguez; Juan Jesus Garcia, Head of Industry Affairs, European Union, from Amadeus and the data journalist from El País, Kiko Llaneras, moderated by Eduardo Parra, Professor of Digital Economy and Tourism at the University of La Laguna.

The Secretary of State for Tourism has underlined that data management is going to become a fundamental element that will allow Spain to make a competitive difference with respect to other destinations. For this reason, the modernization plan for the tourism sector, which will be financed with European funds, makes a firm commitment to the digitization of our companies and tourist destinations, with an investment of 355 million euros. Valdés has referred to the "unique opportunity" that opens up with the data economy to create new jobs throughout the territory and develop the digital skills of current workers.

The president of the INE has explained that they are working on new statistics for tourism adapted to the new times in which mobile data, bank cards and web scrapping will be incorporated. Rodríguez has pointed out the importance of having more granular data and with a higher update frequency.

For Juan Jesús García, “the isolated data has no value. To turn it into intelligence, it has to carry out an analysis that allows it to help in decision-making ”. For his part, the journalist Kiko Llaneras has insisted on the importance of the granularity of the data, "since it provides more power for analysis and is of greater interest to the citizen."

Source of the new

The island of La Palma, located in the Canary Islands, has hosted an international conference to discuss the recovery of the travel and tourism sector, organized by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism in collaboration with the World Travel and Tourism Council ( WTTC) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The world tourism leaders from more than 95 countries and 100 multinationals who have committed to address the necessary measures for the recovery of international tourism after COVID-19 have gathered.

The President of the Government of Spain, Pedro Sanchez, has opened the Conference and said that the results of this Summit will benefit millions of families and companies around the world. "The priority is to make it possible to restart safe international travel and for this we must use new available tools such as diagnostic tests that are more accessible and reliable so that international travel guarantees safety." He also pointed out that we must turn the crisis into an opportunity to modernize the international tourism sector and make it more inclusive, accessible, sustainable and better distribute wealth. Finally, he recalled that the future without COVID-19 is closer, but while that future arrives, we have an obligation to mitigate the effects of this crisis in the tourism sector.

The Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, has been in charge of closing the Conference and stressed that it is “essential to have a coordinated international response that allows restarting international travel in a safe and viable way, as this will allow the travel and tourism sector to recover more quickly". During his speech, Maroto stressed that the summit is extremely important because it is the first time that the public and private sectors have committed to working together for the recovery of world tourism. He also recalled that Spain has been a pioneer in approving tourist corridors to facilitate international travel and has established the obligation of diagnostic tests prior to travel as an alternative to quarantines and travel restrictions to guarantee the restart of safe international travel. Finally, the minister insisted that the tourism sector is a priority for the Government and that more than 3,400 million euros will be allocated in the next three years for its transformation and promotion.

For her part, the president of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), Gloria Guevara, He thanked the WTTC for participating in the organization of this unprecedented event, where the greatest challenge is international collaboration. He recognized and congratulated the President of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, and the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, for their leadership and commitment to coordinating work with leaders from the public and private sectors. "This meeting is historic and essential to reactivate international travel through close collaboration that allows implementing the necessary measures to recover millions of jobs in the world." He noted that the acceptance and implementation of an international protocol for rapid exit tests is essential for the travel and tourism sector, so the Declaration of La Palma will help to realize this and all the WTTC proposals presented at the G20.

The Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization, Zurab Pololikashvili, has highlighted that "the restart of tourism cannot wait, millions of livelihoods, including vulnerable populations, depend on our sector, which must return anchored in sustainability and innovation to grow better and generate benefits that go beyond tourism ”. He added that "international collaboration and coordination are key pieces on this path and I congratulate the Government of Spain for supporting the tourism sector, and the coordinating work of the UNWTO within the United Nations to achieve this shared objective."

Declaration of La Palma

As a result of the discussions, the Declaration of La Palma has been signed, which includes, among several recommendations, the adoption of international protocols for COVID-19 tests prior to departure and the acceptance of the results upon arrival at destination in the way that some countries and regions have already implemented, such as Spain and the Canary Islands. The establishment of sanitary control measures of this nature will allow shorter quarantine periods upon return to the country of origin, or even eliminate them completely.

The document proposes to establish international agreements to implement travel corridors that facilitate tourism and business trips between countries or cities with similar epidemiological situations. Likewise, companies are invited to propose new options to adapt and facilitate travel in the context of the pandemic. Such options include offering flexibility for reservations, payment terms or changes due to positive COVID-19 cases, or offering affordable or higher-value products to incentivize domestic and international travel.

Finally, the Declaration urges all parties to adjust their business models to the new global situation and work together to develop new products that boost national and international travel and tourism. Also to implement training programs to improve and empower tourism workers and SMEs, empowering them with essential digital skills to adapt to the "new normal." Finally, a more inclusive and resilient industry will be promoted by reinforcing sustainability practices in tourism.

This event is the result of the request made by the WTTC to the leaders of the G7 + Spain, South Korea and Australia requesting an agreement at the highest level to save the sector and the millions of jobs that depend on it. As a result of it, the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, reiterated his commitment to the sector and confirmed Spain's leadership in holding a meeting in which the fundamental measures to reactivate international tourism would be discussed. Likewise, the meeting followed up on the past historic meeting of the G20 Tourism Ministers Summit, in which for the first time, at the request of the host country Saudi Arabia, around 45 CEOs and members of the WTTC were invited.

During the conference, two panels were held where the future of the tourism sector was analyzed. In the first panel, the Portuguese Secretary of State for Tourism, Rita Marques; the British Minister for Sports and Tourism, Nigel Huddleston; the CEO of IATA, Alexandre de Juniac; the CEO of Iberia, Javier Sánchez-Prieto; and the head of TUI, Friedrich Joussen.

The second panel was attended by videoconference by the Kenyan Secretary of Tourism, Najib Balala; Certares founder Greg O'Hara; the Minister of Tourism of Argentina, Matías Lammens; the Vice President of Expedia, Jean-Philippe Monod; and the president of the Radisson Hotels Group, Federico González.

This event was also attended by the President of the Canary Islands, Ángel Víctor Torres, the Minister of Tourism of the Government of the Canary Islands, Yaiza Castilla; and the president of the Cabildo de La Palma, Mariano Hernández.

Source of the new

The Secretary of State for Tourism and the ONCE Foundation have signed a collaboration agreement to develop a mobile application that guides pilgrims with visual disabilities on the Camino Frances de Santiago, and that may also be useful for people with reduced mobility or advanced age.

"It is an example of the application of technology in destinations and excellent news that allows improving the tourist experience of people with disabilities thanks to technology", has valued the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, from the Tourism Innovation Summit in Seville.

The CEO of Fundación ONCE, José Luis Martínez Donoso, has pointed out that “at a time as important as the present, events such as the celebration of the Xacobeo Year will be a boost for the economic recovery of the country. Facilitating the accessibility of the Camino Frances to Santiago will be one more attraction so that a greater number of people have the experience of knowing this World Heritage Site. Furthermore, we guarantee the access of people with disabilities to culture, as stated in the United Nations Convention ”.

Through this agreement, which is published this Thursday by the Official State Gazette (BOE), the Secretary of State for Tourism will make a financial contribution to the ONCE Foundation in the amount of 45,000 euros.

At the gates of Xacobeo 2021, this collaboration between the Secretary of State for Tourism and the ONCE Foundation will allow us to continue raising barriers and make it easier for everyone to enjoy an experience as unique as the one offered by the Camino de Santiago.

Notices, information and points of interest

The development of this App is part of the ‘Camino de Santiago: Your companion on the Camino’ project, which aims to provide tourist information in an accessible way for all pilgrims, regardless of their abilities, along the entire route.

The application will guide the user on their journey, anticipating the characteristics of the terrain at each stage and the possible presence of dangers or obstacles, such as crossroads, slopes or adverse weather events.

It will also guide you with respect to the direction and direction of travel and will inform you about the points of interest that you will find on the Camino, from fountains, public transport stops and rest areas, to accommodation, shops and restaurants, passing by monuments, tourist offices, pharmacies and first aid or health centers, to name a few examples.

Source of the new