The Regional Minister of Culture and Tourism, Román Rodríguez, made this announcement during his parliamentary appearance to explain the Reactivation Plan for the tourism and cultural sectors, which has a budget of 27 million euros

The Councillor for Culture and Tourism, Román Rodríguez, appeared before the Standing Committee of Parliament to give an account of the Reactivation Plan for the cultural and tourist sectors promoted by the Xunta de Galicia. In this appearance, the Minister of Culture and Tourism announced the intention of the Xunta de Galicia to provide Galicia with its own model in terms of quality and safety, which will raise health safety standards above those required by the regulations approved in the BOE. In this sense, Román Rodríguez points out that the system established by the central government can generate inequalities, giving rise to a two-speed tourism sector – those governed by the BOE’s regulations and those that adopt the measures promoted by the ICTE -, which weakens Galicia’s destiny.

“Galicia, safe destination is much more than a slogan. It is a duty and a responsibility shared between the business sector and the administrations,” he said, considering that the response of the central government in this area was “insufficient”, as it only published on Saturday in the Official State Bulletin (BOE) a series of generic orders with indications for the different areas of tourism, and on Sunday itself, one day before the reopening, some guides with specific recommendations for each activity.

During his speech, the Minister of Culture and Tourism stressed that ensuring the confidence and safety of potential visitors is essential for the recovery of the tourism sector and therefore advanced that the Xunta will bet on the exit from the crisis by quality as a differentiating element. To this end, he explained that the Xunta will agree with the sector to establish agreed protocols that can be assumed by all establishments, thus generating confidence among workers and users. The Galician Government will accompany this process with an investment of 5 million euros through the Galicia program, a safe destination, which includes public aid and training for businesses that need to undertake actions arising from its implementation.

Commitment to detail, quality and the trust of the destination
The Regional Minister of Culture and Tourism explained that the roadmap drawn up by the Xunta for the reactivation of the tourism sector includes a total of 24 initiatives, with a budget of up to 11 million euros, in four areas of action:

  • The first of these focuses on the implementation of promotional actions and activation of demand, promoting Galicia as a destination characterized by values such as safety, health or sustainability and which will also be committed to weaving synergies between our Community and northern Portugal. This area includes projects such as the promotion of Galicia as a destination for congress tourism adapted to the new reality. With the aim of financing around 50 events in the last four months of the year, the Xunta will even publish tomorrow an order for the extension of the deadlines with 500,000 euros.
  • The second line of action, stressed Roman Rodriguez, is the creation of new tourism products by agents such as geodestinations, promoting local tourism, or the signing of agreements with the various sectoral bodies to adapt the entire value chain of the sector to market developments.
  • The third vector of the plan contemplates measures to support the business sector and the maintenance of tourist employment through actions such as the programme Queda en Galicia (Stay in Galicia), which will cover the costs of financing market products in travel agencies and will prioritise local and suburban tourism, or the solidarity bond, which will reward regional professionals linked to the fight against the coronavirus with tourist packages in Galicia.
  • Finally, the fourth axis is to reinforce training and improve business competitiveness, extending the Tele-Training Plan run by the Galician Higher Centre of Hotel and Catering Business (CSHG), in which more than 3,000 people have already participated during the state of alarm, or implementing an advice and consultation system.

“It is a plan that bets on signature tourism, on a model of its own,” summarized the counselor, who stressed the importance of “betting on the detail, quality and confidence of the destination,” as we have been doing with our capacity to welcome the Way of Saint James. Precisely with regard to the Jacobean Route, Román Rodríguez announced that in the coming weeks the Jacobean Fund 2021 will be activated, with an investment of 1.5 million euros to finance professional cultural initiatives with which he will begin work on what he defined as “the most Galician Jacobean in history”. The Reactivation Plan is completed with twelve measures focused on the celebration of Xacobeo 2021, with an investment of more than 5.6 million euros, with an impact on both the cultural and tourist fields.

Among them, he announced the activation in the coming weeks of a project fund that will inject immediate liquidity into the Community’s cultural industries and that will provide aid of up to 10,000 euros for the implementation of digital or face-to-face projects. Similarly, the purchase of works by Galician artists will be encouraged and actions in the field of music will be promoted, such as a call for projects for this sector for more than 1 million euros or support for Xacobeo or FEST Galicia music cycles.

Finally, the head of Culura e Turismo reminded the audience that the reactivation of these two sectors is a “shared challenge” and called on the different administrations to create synergies and work together, avoiding duplication and concentrating economic effort on boosting the productive fabric and maintaining employment in the cultural and tourist fields. During his appearance, the Minister thanked the professionals of these two sectors for their efforts in recent weeks. “There are many people and groups who showed that Galicia was up to the task,” he said.

Wednesday May 13th, 2020

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