Under the name “La Fuerza del Norte”, different associations from the north of Spain have decided to join forces in order to gain strength and presence before institutions and market their products, based on the natural resources of Asturias, Cantabria, the Basque Country and Galicia. The project, of which several meetings have been held, was materialized in the meeting held in Lugo, which was attended by presidents and representatives of the collectives of Santiago de Compostela, A Coruña, Cantabria, Asturias, Vizcaya and Guipúzcoa and also the president of the Spanish Hotel Business Confederation, Jose Luis Yzuel and the general secretary, Emilio Gallego. The president of the Provincial Association of Hotel and Tourism Businessmen of Lugo, Cheché Real, was the host on this occasion.
The four autonomous communities add up to more than 200 thousand jobs, a figure that would place this group in fourth place, behind Andalusia, Catalonia and Madrid. As for the self-employed, rise to third place, only behind Andalusia and Catalonia.
The objective now is to present the proposal to different entities and governments of Green Spain, seeking and support, while beginning to work on one of its star projects, Pilgrims to the North, from hotel to hotel, involving hotels and accommodations that already offer services specifically designed for the needs of pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago, to continue expanding the project, which already has 128 member establishments specializing in meeting the specific needs of pilgrims (physiotherapy, luggage transfer, weather information …). In addition, the aim is to work with a tour operator specialised in hiking to make the national and international leap to the level of joint marketing, thus betting on the Camino de Santiago as one of its first objectives to strengthen, in addition to including in the project restaurants, active tourism companies, bicycle rental and other activities.
The project had already been presented last year to the brand Green Spain, which involves the regional governments of northern Spain but not the business sector. Now, the four autonomous communities will request that they include in their tourist programming the specific promotion of the product Peregrinos por el Norte (Pilgrims for the North).
But this great tourist region is not limited to the development of large projects, but also to share problems and seek solutions. For example, Internet connectivity in rural areas and the possibility of offering tourists free Wi-Fi service, among other things. Another common issue that worries the sector is the control of workers’ hours that came into effect in mid-May. An issue that is having a complicated implantation in the hotel sector.