Acting Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, said today in St. Petersburg that "improving professional training and retaining and attracting talent are key to maintaining Spain's competitiveness and leadership in the global tourism sector."

In the framework of the 23rd meeting of the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization, Maroto participated in a debate on education and employment in tourism in which he also pointed out the importance of reputation in the sector, and mentioned the Master Plan for a Decent Work launched by the Government, “which has allowed improving the working conditions of more than 14,000 workers, as well as reducing the gender gap, in a very feminized sector”.

He also said that tourism is a lever against the demographic challenge, and presented the Network of Smart Destinations developed by Segittur as an example of the opportunities that digitalization offers to develop new products and improve destination management. The panel was completed with representatives of the Governments of Russia, Portugal, Seychelles, Egypt, Croatia, Colombia or Portugal, among others.

In the plenary session held yesterday, the minister placed tourism as a political priority and recalled that Spain leads the Tourism Competitiveness Index of the World Economic Forum, something that “encourages us to continue working on a new governance of the tourism model that serves as a development lever of the Sustainable Development Goals. Tourism must be an element of transformation, job creation and social welfare ”. He also recalled that, to this end, the Government approved the basis for defining a Sustainable Tourism Strategy 2030, aligned with the UNWTO guidelines: “It is important that tourism is addressed in a transversal manner and that we take better advantage of the value it offers , to continue being a world tourism power in the field of sustainability, accessibility, respect for the environment and gender equality policies ”.

Reyes Maroto completed his work agenda in St. Petersburg with bilateral meetings with different delegations – among them, that of South Korea (2020 marks seventy years since the establishment of diplomatic relations and will be a guest country at FITUR) – and a working meeting with the CEO of the WTTC (World Travel and Tourism Council), Gloria Guevara.

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