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Council of Ministers

Government to enhance Spain's image through international campaigns to promote tourism

Moncloa Palace, Madrid, Friday 6 September 2019

The Council of Ministers authorised the Spanish Tourism Institute (TURESPAÑA) to develop international advertising campaigns to promote the Spain Brand of tourism and attract new customers.

The Acting Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, highlighted that Spain continues to be a "tourism powerhouse", and is the leader in competitiveness, as endorsed this week by the World Economic Forum, although she warned that we must not be "complacent" in a context in which the offer from competitor destinations is on the rise and tourists are increasingly more demanding. "We must continue working to define a tourism model based on quality and economic, social and environmental sustainability".

Reyes Maroto explained that the advertising actions approved will be targeted, first and foremost, to attracting tourists from emitting markets such as Southeast Asia, China, Japan and South Korea, where Spain "is still struggling get a foothold".

The second key element will be to consolidate the British market given the decline in the flow of inbound tourists from the United Kingdom to Spain. Reyes Maroto pointed out that the potential causes of this decline are the recovery of other competitor destinations and Brexit, and argued that, given the possibility of a no deal withdrawal from the European Union, "it is very important to offer guarantees to British tourists that we are ready to provide them with the same service".

Pool Moncloa/JM CuadradoThe minister stated that the third main pillar is the renewal of Spain's image by underlining its modernity and the quality and diversity of its tourist products. "Spain is not only sun and beach but also business, leisure, culture and heritage tourism", said Reyes Maroto, for whom it is essential to attract these new segments of demand. Gastronomy, for example, is already the leading reason to travel to Spain for 10% of inbound tourists.

As well as this "motivational" diversification, as the minister defined it, other basic goals are diversification over time to seasonally adjust tourist flows that are predominantly concentrated in the summer months, and geographic diversification so that the benefits of tourist activity - which currently generate 11% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 13.3% of all jobs - can reach all Spanish regions.

Round of proposals for 2019 "Reindus" Programme

The Council of Ministers approved the 2019 call for proposals under the Re-industrialisation and Enhancing Industrial Competitiveness Programme "Reindus", with a provision of 400 million euros to prioritise zones "of special need" and those affected by decarbonisation.

The first edition of the programme, held in 2018, led to the implementation of 210 projects in all autonomous regions and the creation of 1,823 jobs, explained the acting minister, for whom the industrial sector is strategic because it "generates quality jobs", better salaries and labour conditions, provides exports and has a high capacity for innovation".

For all these reasons, argued Reyes Maroto, it is a government priority to increase the weighting of industry in the national GDP, which currently stands at below 20% and is considered an objective for the European Union, and to harness the opportunities represented by digitalisation and the ecological transition.

Access to Sagunto Port

Pool Moncloa/JM CuadradoThe Council of Ministers authorised the works to be put out to tender on the railway branch line to Sagunto Port (Valencia) to improve its connection with the Mediterranean Corridor and with the Cantabrian-Mediterranean Corridor.

The Acting Minister for Education and Vocational Training, and Government Spokesperson, Isabel Celaá, reported that the contract has an estimated value of more than 20 million euros. The works include the implementation of three different branch lines, spanning a total of 5.6 kilometres, which join up and guarantee access to the port by goods trains from Valencia and Castellon.

Badajoz goods terminal

In terms of public works, the government also authorised the works on the new railway goods terminal in Badajoz to be put out to tender, for a sum of more than 12 million euros.

Isabel Celaá stated that the aim is to boost the development of goods transport in Extremadura and for companies in this region to benefit from a reduction in the import and export costs of their products.

Weekly assessment

Isabel Celaá recalled that the Acting President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, chaired a meeting on Thursday of the Inter-ministerial Committee for the Monitoring of the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, at which the priorities goals were addressed to protect the interests of Spanish citizens in the United Kingdom and British citizens in Spain.

The Acting Government Spokesperson also reiterated that the government does not want to hold fresh elections and trusts that "formulas for cooperation" will be found to form a government in September with an "open and progressive programme".

Current affairs

Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la BellacasaIsabel Celaá began her speech at the press briefing by conveying the government's condolences over the murder of the two aid workers of the NGO Action Against Hunger in Ethiopia. She also expressed the government's condolences over the death of Blanca Fernández Ochoa. "Blanca was a pioneer; she was the first Spanish woman to achieve Olympic glory and will go down in the history of Spanish sport".

The Acting Government Spokesperson announced that the Acting Minister for Culture and Sport, José Guirao, and the President of the National Sports Council, María José Rienda, will accompany the family and people of Cercedilla at her funeral on Saturday. 

Isabel Celaá also announced that she will meet on Wednesday with representatives from the Spanish Federation of Publishers and the National Association of Textbook and Teaching Material Publishers, who have stressed that the regional governments are pressurising them to amend the content of school textbooks.

The acting minister declared that "we have a single education system with its respective versions in the 17 autonomous regions", which must be safeguarded because this allows us to maintain State unity.

Non official translation