Council of Ministers

The Government of Spain allocates 720 million euros to consolidate the recovery and modernisation of the tourism sector

Council of Ministers - 2021.12.7

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Moncloa Palace, Madrid

The Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, presented a new aid package, worth 720 million euros, for tourism business projects and the rehabilitation of tourist destinations at the press conference following the Council of Ministers.

Maroto indicated that this aid is in addition to that agreed last week and completes the "ambitious safety net" that the Government has been deploying as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Spain is a world leader in tourism competitiveness and, according to the minister, the Executive's priority is to consolidate the sector's recovery and move forwards in its transformation and modernisation to make it "more sustainable, digital, safe and inclusive".

Innovative projects for the tourism business

Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la BellacasaThe Government has approved the new regulation of the Tourism Businesses Competitiveness Fund (FOCIT), currently allocated 565 million euros. This fund is aimed at financing business projects that improve the competitiveness of the tourism sector.

Reyes Maroto explained that financing in the form of loans will be available to the self-employed and companies in the sector that develop innovative projects in areas such as digitalisation, energy efficiency, the circular economy and improved accessibility.

Rehabilitation of historical heritage for tourist use

The Executive has also agreed to grant 109.8 million euros in direct subsidies to regional governments and local entities for the maintenance and rehabilitation of historical heritage for tourist use. The investment is foreseen in the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan and will be financed by the NextGenerationEU funds.

The minister specified that these funds will enable action to be taken on 37 assets of cultural interest. Most of them are located in rural areas, in small municipalities belonging to three important tourism products: the Camino de Santiago, which will receive 62 million euros; the Ignatian Way of Manresa, which will receive 2.7 million euros; and the 15 World Heritage Cities, which will receive 45 million euros; a maximum of three million euros each.

All these actions are included in the Impulsa Patrimonio Plan presented on 22 November in Baeza.

Destinations on the Camino de Santiago

The Minister of Tourism also explained that the Government has decided to allocate a maximum of 45 million euros to promote transformative actions to improve sustainability, digitisation and competitiveness in destinations that are part of the Camino de Santiago that runs throughout Spain.

These actions are part of the Xacobeo 2021-2022 National Tourism Plan and, in the minister's opinion, "will make an important contribution to territorial cohesion".

Reyes Maroto indicated that Galicia is the region that will receive the most resources - 16.5 million euros - which represents a "historic investment".

The minister emphasised that these three agreements, which represent an investment of 720 million euros, comply with the provisions of the Tourism Sector Modernisation and Competitiveness Plan, of which 75% of the budget allocated for 2021 has been authorised.

Aid to the shipbuilding sector

Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la BellacasaThe Council of Ministers has approved direct aid to the shipbuilding sector for research, development and innovation with an annual maximum of 20 million euros, an increase of 25% compared to 2020.

The aid will be financed from the Shipbuilding Restructuring Fund in order to enhance the competitive capacity and technological differentiation of the sector. The minister stated that it represents "support for a sector that is going to be a bulwark in the economic Recovery Plan".

The funds from the Recovery Plan, added to the 20 million euros in aid agreed today, will facilitate "the development of projects that are innovative and unique, making us leaders in segments, for example, such as offshore wind energy support vessels", Maroto said.

Fund for the capitalisation of companies affected by COVID-19

The Government has amended the agreement of the Council of Ministers of 15 June establishing the functioning of the Fund for the recapitalisation of companies affected by COVID-19. This fund was created to strengthen and restore the solvency of small companies, in any economic sector, which, being viable in the medium and long term, were seeing their balance sheets affected by the negative effects of the pandemic.

Reyes Maroto explained that the amendment of the agreement will make it possible to improve the efficiency of this instrument, make the scope and purpose of the fund compatible with the needs of companies and take advantage of the possibilities offered by the extension of the European Commission's temporary framework for state aid, which has been extended until 30 June 2022.

Expansion of funds for the creation of VT places

Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la BellacasaThe Council of Ministers has agreed on the distribution to the regional governments of 6.1 million euros to create new vocational training places (VT). These funds are in addition to the 73 million euros approved in June and will allow the creation of more than 42,000 new VT places this year.

Aid for the redimensioning of the supply of VT places corresponds to Component 20 of the Recovery Plan. The goal is to increase the number of VT places by 135,000 in three years, in addition to the more than 60,000 places created last year.

In this regard, the Minister for Territorial Policy and Government Spokesperson, Isabel Rodríguez, stressed that the measure adopted today responds to the Government's objective of creating 200,000 new places and to the growing demand from students, as more than one million students are following this type of education this academic year.

Aid for training activities for employed workers or the unemployed

In the area of the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, the Council of Ministers has also authorised the call for 125.4 million euros in aid to finance training activities aimed at employed workers or the unemployed.

The allocation is distributed across three lines. The first, with nearly 67 million euros, is earmarked for training programmes linked to certificates of professionalism, primarily for employed workers. Secondly, 17 million is for training actions to respond to the qualification needs detected by the company for its workers. Finally, 36 million is earmarked primarily for training the unemployed. In addition, scholarships and grants are provided with a maximum amount of 6 million euros.

The spokesperson added that this aid will be aimed at the priority sectors of both the Vocational Training Modernisation Plan and the Recovery Plan: digitalisation, reindustrialisation and sustainability.

Support for the scientific activity of nine institutions on La Palma

Pool Moncloa/Borja Puig de la BellacasaThe Government has approved the direct award of nearly 2.5 million euros in grants for research related to the volcanic eruption on the island of La Palma. The aid will go to institutions, universities and research centres of the General State Administration, the Regional Government of the Canary Islands and the City Hall, according to the spokesperson.

Isabel Rodríguez specified that 40% of the aid will be used for actions that are already underway, such as the purchase of equipment, while the remaining 60% will be used to carry out studies and projects and to meet the needs of staff posted to the island.

The Government grants this aid by virtue of the Royal Decree-Law approved by the Council of Ministers on 5 October adopting urgent measures to support those affected in order to repair the damage caused by the volcano and for the economic and social reconstruction of the island.

Recognition of Joan Manuel Serrat

The spokeswoman also informed that the Executive has agreed to award the Gran Cruz de la Orden Civil de Alfonso X el Sabio to the singer-songwriter, actor and writer Joan Manuel Serrat for his "brilliant career and contribution to culture and the arts, following the announcement of his last tour before December next year".

Non official translation