Latest News
HomeRegional NewsEuropeThe Spanish Government approves the 2012-2016 Comprehensive National Tourism Plan
The Spanish Government considers tourism a strategic factor for economic recovery

The Spanish Government approves the 2012-2016 Comprehensive National Tourism Plan

The Council of Ministers approved the Comprehensive National Tourism Plan presented by the Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism, Jose Manuel Soria. Designed to cover 2012-2016, its 28 measures -including more than 100 specific actions- are aimed at boosting the competitiveness of tourism companies and destinations, renewing our position as a world leader in the industry,…

The Council of Ministers approved the Comprehensive National Tourism Plan presented by the Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism, Jose Manuel Soria. Designed to cover 2012-2016, its 28 measures -including more than 100 specific actions- are aimed at boosting the competitiveness of tourism companies and destinations, renewing our position as a world leader in the industry, and contributing to the generation of wealth, jobs and wellbeing for our citizens. The Plan has been drafted in close cooperation and agreement with the public and private sectors.

The Government considers tourism a strategic factor for economic recovery.

Since the beginning of this term of Parliament, there have been proposals for a tourism policy to make the industry more competitive and sustainable and which, in the medium and long term, consolidates its world standing. To this end, the Comprehensive National Tourism Plan is the first Sectoral Plan that the Government has approved. The Plan was drawn up by Turespana, under the aegis of the State Secretariat for Tourism, with input from the regional administrations of Spain’s Autonomous Communities, through the Bureau of Directors-General and the Sectoral Conference, the Spanish Tourism Council, and the Inter-Ministerial Commission.

The basic pillars of the Plan are the strength of Marca Espana, achieved through its coordinated promotion; customer-oriented management targeting the loyalty of mature markets and market unity through harmonizing legislation; and public-private cooperation.

The Comprehensive National Tourism Plan is the first Sectoral Plan that the Government approved after coming to power, showing the importance it gives to this industry. The Plan was drafted in a record five months by the State Secretariat for Tourism, with input from the regional administrations of Spain’s Autonomous Communities, through the Bureau of Directors-General and the Sectoral Conference, the Spanish Tourism Council, and the Inter-Ministerial Commission. It is conceived as a response to the principal needs expressed by the tourism industry.

The Comprehensive National Tourism Plan is based on 6 pillars, encompassing 28 measures and 104 specific actions.

The power of Marca Espana
This pillar’s goal is to enhance the positioning of Marca Espana in consolidated markets, and raise its profile in non-traditional ones. Among these measures, promotional campaigns will be aimed at raising this profile, incorporating the perspective of tourism as a strategic industry in Marca Espana management initiatives, such as the Marca Espana group led by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation. Here, Turespana will be present among the agencies responsible for planning cultural actions abroad in line with the characteristics of Marca Espana.

Turespana will also carry out a joint strategy with the Foreign Trade Institute (ICEX) seeking synergies in the hybridization of tourism with other sectors (e.g. food, tableware, and furniture for accommodations and restaurants). In addition, Spain’s tourism interests in the EU will be permanently represented by the State Secretariat for Tourism, which will be responsible for oversight, especially on those matters having a direct or indirect impact on Spain’s tourism interests.

Tourist-oriented
Within the framework of the Plan, a loyalty programme will be developed aimed at generating incentives for tourists who have already visited Spain to come back. This can be done through special cards that accumulate points at associated Spanish companies.

The programme will include a campaign to stimulate domestic demand for tourism, as well as to support the promotion of destinations away from the coast.

Furthermore, work is already underway to optimize the issuance of visas, making the process quicker and more effective.

As a means to counteract the negative impact of Spanish tourism’s seasonality, the plan proposes establishing rebates on airport fees for offpeak days at Canary Island airports, and during the winter months at Balearic airports. To this end, a Working Group will be established including participants from the Ministries of Infrastructure, of the Budget and Public Administrations, and of Industry, Energy and Tourism.

Destinations support
A key aspect of this new tourism strategy is support for the comprehensive transformation of mature destinations that require a major boost from the private sector and from the public administrations as a facilitator, according to their scope of responsibility.

Here, new credit lines are being opened up for tourism companies with the aim of renovating all kinds of infrastructure, eliminating the previous limitations on investments eligible for financing.

Segittur (National Company for Managing Tourism Innovation and Technologies) will work on a "Smart Destinations" grading system in line with the trend towards creating Smart Cities; the system will grade destinations according to their efficient incorporation of ICT in their services.

Moreover, a network for Experience Tourism Destination Management Organizations will be created in order to promote the management of differential tourism products and activities, with an experience-based approach, in line with the product guidelines being defined in the Strategic Marketing Plan spearheaded by Turespana.

The Plan envisages standardizing the classification of hotels, rural accommodation and campsites, because the current diversity could lead to complications for tourists, as well as for the accommodations sub-sector itself.

Also planned is the creation of incentives for more tourism entrepreneurs to participate in the Spanish Tourism Quality System, on a basis of coresponsibility, so that the stakeholders themselves may determine how to develop and implement these quality methodologies.

The aim is to give added value to and promote Spain’s national heritage -including its cultural and natural attractions and rich traditions in food and wine- through agreements with other public administrations, such as the Ministry of the Presidency, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, the State Secretariat for the Environment, ICEX, Autonomous Communities, associations and foundations.

Fostering public-private co-responsibility
Given that tourism is a horizontal sector where many rules and regulations issued by Ministries or other public administration have an impact, the Plan proposes mentioning impacts on tourism in the economic report of any draft regulations that are approved.

In this regard, market unity will also be promoted, since there is a wide variety in Spain’s tourism legislation across the country, which leads to enormous regulatory fragmentation in the industry. Thus, a process to harmonize regulations will be led.

The Plan also envisages incorporating the tourism perspective in the amendment of certain laws; for example, in Labour Reform, the Coastal Act, the Urban Rentals Act, and the Water Act.

In this context of integrating public and private resources with a view to tourism, understanding and integration are priorities, and demand that Turespana become more oriented towards serving business. Hence, approving this document means promoting a model of formal participation for private initiative to join in decision-making and in financing Turespana. Moreover, and after creating a Working Group, the next goal is to reorganize Spanish Tourism Offices Abroad, of which there are currently 33, to reorientate their goals, functionality and distribution.

The State Secretariat for Tourism, through Segittur and with the collaboration of ICEX and Spanish Embassies, will foster the internationalization of our tourism SMEs, accompanying them as they open up new markets, and promoting exports of their tourism products and services. This measure will be implemented by adding value to the collaboration agreements on tourism signed with other countries, through specific action plans.

Segittur will also create a one-stop tourism shop to provide entrepreneurs and companies with the latest information on different public services available at the national and international levels: announcements, aid, loans and subsidies available. In addition, they will be provided with technical counselling to develop entrepreneurial initiatives and strengthen the development of the sector’s companies.

Knowledge
A catalogue of Turespana services will be drawn up, and a process to reorganize and modernize Spain’s Tourism Offices Abroad will also be initiated.

In collaboration with the National Statistics Institute (INE), the viability of transferring the creation and management of the Frontur, Egatur and Familitur tourism surveys to the INE is being studied. This would lead to greater recognition of and trust in the statistics generated, as well as to reinforcing leadership.

Talent and entrepreneurship
To favour innovation, talent and entrepreneurship, lines of credit have been established, with more favourable conditions than those offered by the market, for young tourism entrepreneurs, as they are considered to have the greatest potential for introducing innovation into the sector.

Furthermore, a programme for innovative tourism entrepreneurs will be created, articulating a comprehensive cooperation network to promote entrepreneurship in tourism, especially by the young. In order to do so, the potential of existing working networks will be maximized, and agreements will be concluded with Spain’s most prestigious universities and business schools and with other organizations, to create incubators for young entrepreneurs who can come up with ideas for the future.

The Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism will lead the implementation of the plan for its entire duration. In fact, the measures have been prioritized and arranged in an action calendar. It will be possible to measure the indicators, and regular evaluations will be carried out.

12/07/2024
11/07/2024
10/07/2024
09/07/2024
08/07/2024