The president of the Galician Tourism Cluster demanded today before the members of the Commission for Reactivation by Covid-19 of the Parliament of Galicia a coordinated action of all the Administrations for the implementation of a rescue plan for the sector, as was done with banking during the financial crisis.
Cesáreo Pardal began by saying that he would accept the appearance if he were able to convey to the parliamentarians “the despair, frustration and hopelessness” that the people who work in the tourist industries of Galicia transmit to him every day.
He also positively valued the measures announced today by the president of the Xunta and insisted on the need for the involvement of all Administrations.
The President of the Cluster justified the need for a rescue of Tourism in the strategic nature of this sector, which generates a business volume Galicia of more than 6,000 million euros, “which is, for example, six times more than it generates fishing ”, and how especially vulnerable this activity is in a situation of insecurity like the one we live in.
Tourism industries make up, as he explained, a sector that is “clinically dead”: “the pandemic, and the measures that must be taken to stop it, affects the vital organs of tourism. It is not something that can be treated or cured at this time. The only thing we can do is maintain his vital signs and wait for the moment to revive him, ”he said.
In this sense, he added that “life support” is necessary in the form of
• direct aid to meet the expenses of a day to day without income, as is done in countries like Germany;
• deferrals of tax debts and reductions or exemptions in taxes such as VAT;
• direct aid for the refinancing of financial commitments that we cannot assume without working;
• support for employment, with aid to avoid their destruction and extension of the scope of the Temporary Regulation Files;
• measures also in the health field, such as conducting tests that can generate security when choosing Galicia as a destination;
• and, once we regain mobility, aggressive destination promotion campaigns will be necessary to convey the right message that Galicia is a safe place.
• There should also be direct aids to stimulate demand, such as tourist vouchers.
Cesáreo Pardal recalled that the business, the knowledge acquired in decades of activity, the experience and the employment generated “will be essential for recovery” and added that “if we let tourism die, there is no possible recovery”. “Tourism is, as happened with banking in the financial crisis, too big to fail, too big to fail.”
The president of the Cluster explained that he was addressing the parliamentarians, not only as representatives of the Galician citizenship, but also as part of some political parties that have government responsibilities, either in the Xunta, in the Government of Spain or in the Town Halls and Provincial Councils.
He pointed out that “although it is a request that is not easy to fulfill, we need you to be united in this” and to act in a coordinated manner, because at this time support that depends on the State, support that depends on the Xunta and support that depend on the local administrations ”. If we don’t do it like that, he added, “the recovery when this happens is not going to be possible.”
After citing the examples of the hospitality industry “which from tomorrow will have zero turnover” or that of travel agencies, which this year bill between five and ten percent of what they billed last year, Cesáreo Pardal He explained that “the dimension of the problem is something that is not always easy to see: we tend to see tourism as something that only affects the main offer (that of hotels, travel agencies, wholesalers, restaurants or bars”.
That is why he defended the Cluster as an institution capable of tackling the problem from a strategic point of view, since it also includes among its partners support services, such as active tourism or transport services; to facilities, such as conference centers or golf courses; and to complementary activities, such as spas or congress organization companies.
The President of the Cluster also claimed “sensitivity when deciding the measures and transmitting the messages.” “Each measure, each announcement, must be accompanied by a special effort to dialogue with those who are going to be most directly and immediately affected.
In this sense, he said that “it is not easy to understand that the day before the Todos los Santos bridge, the hoteliers found out three hours in advance and with full refrigerators that measures were put in place that, in fact, prevented their job”. He added that “this does not help to solve the problem, even though the measures adopted may be necessary.”
He also recalled that “we are talking about a sector formed mainly by small family businesses in which, if there is no income today, tomorrow there is no food.” In this context, he added, “it is enough that there is someone who believes that with a match he can take advantage of the chaos, so that he lights a fire that the only thing he will do is stop the efforts made so far.