The Government is strengthening tourism with a strategic plan worth 4,262 million euros, which seeks to promote an activity that the Government has recognized as strategic in our country’s productive model, since it represents 12% of Spain’s Gross Domestic Product and employs 13.6% of the total number of people affiliated to the Social Security in our country. This initiative brings the Government’s commitment to the sector since the beginning of the pandemic to 19,535 million euros.
This new Plan to boost the tourism sector consists of 28 measures that are structured around five lines of action: recovering confidence in the destination (a safe 360º destination), implementing measures to reactivate the sector, improving the competitiveness of the tourism destination, improving the tourism knowledge and intelligence model and a marketing and promotion campaign.
Recovering trust in the destination: a safe 360º destination
The Plan includes the investment of 200,000 euros for the elaboration of 21 guides of specifications to prevent the infection by the coronavirus SARS-COV-2, which include measures of disinfection of the spaces and other conditions of cleanliness, capacity and social distance promoted by the sector and endorsed by the sanitary authorities. In addition, the government has committed to creating a logo to publicize the establishments that commit to following the guidelines and is already working on pilot projects to open the country to international tourism through safe tourism corridors.
Measures for the reactivation of the sector
The Government’s initiative includes a second pillar that mobilises 3,362 million euros and focuses on measures to reactivate the sector through employment measures, training and capacity building programmes in the sector and business liquidity and solvency, with a preferential sub-section of 2,500 million euros for the tourism sector from the ICO’s line of guarantees to ensure financing and liquidity.
In addition, a mechanism has been established that allows a moratorium period of a maximum of 12 months to be granted for those financial operations with a mortgage guarantee, signed by self-employed workers or companies whose property is used for a tourist sector activity, including accommodation.
On the other hand, and taking into account the close relationship that the discretionary transport sector has with the tourism sector, the Government will analyse a mechanism that will allow the creditor entities to apply a temporary suspension of the obligations derived from credit contracts without mortgage guarantee. These are contracts associated with the purchase of vehicles for occasional passenger transport.
As part of this Plan, Aena’s Board of Directors has approved a commercial incentive with the aim of contributing to a rapid recovery of air traffic in Spain. In this way, each company will receive a discount on the average monthly landing fee for all those operations in Aena’s network that exceed the established levels: a 75% discount, for the number of operations between the lower and upper thresholds, and a 100% discount, for the number of operations that exceed the upper threshold.
Measures to improve the competitiveness of the tourist destination
The Plan to Promote the Tourism Sector incorporates an axis to improve the competitiveness of the tourist destination, with a budget of 859 million euros. Specifically, the State Financial Fund for Tourism Competitiveness (FOCIT) will support, through loans, the projects developed by tourism companies aimed at improving competitiveness and accelerating the transformation of the sector towards a more sustainable model, especially those related to the use of renewable energy, efficient use of resources, reuse of water and recycling of waste sustainable transport, or digitalization, innovation and modernization of services. On the other hand, this axis includes measures focused on the financing of projects for the digitalization, innovation and internationalization of the tourism sector and tourism sustainability plans, among other measures.
Improvement of the tourism knowledge and intelligence model
Based on the need to redesign the Spanish tourism knowledge and intelligence system, taking into consideration the information needs of the Autonomous Communities and the sector, the central government is promoting the creation of a new tourism observatory focused on the analysis of international demand by strengthening market information, the analysis of tourism variables and their evolution, and the creation of a new tourism model, aimed at incorporating new knowledge elements to overcome the limitations it faces.
Branding and promotion campaign
Finally, the fifth axis of this Plan of Impulse of the tourist sector: towards a safe and sustainable tourism post-COVID-19 is centered in using tools of ‘marketing’ and promotion to position Spain as a safe and sustainable destination, as much facing the national tourism as international through a campaign #Lo
On the one hand, the reactivation of the markets will focus on the short-term actions that the network of Tourist Boards abroad will implement to quickly reactivate international tourism to Spain. But, in addition, work will be done on a strong tourism strategy that will culminate in a Strategic Plan 2020-2024.