You are in:

At inauguration of 10th Exceltur Forum

Pedro Sánchez expresses government commitment to tourism sector - a "vital activity" for Spain

IFEMA (Trade Fair Institution), Madrid, Tuesday 21 January 2020

Pedro Sánchez pointed out that Spain received 83.7 million inbound tourists in 2019, up 1.2% on the previous year. "This is impressive progress taking into account that the figures were already extraordinary. That is excellence: back-to-back improvements", he said at the inauguration of the forum organised at IFEMA (Madrid Trade Fair) by Exceltur, an association that gathers together 28 large Spanish companies from throughout the tourism chain.

The President of the Government also remarked that these tourists spent almost 3% more than in 2018, which translated into more than 92 billion euros and 2.4 million National Insurance contributors. These figures, he stressed, are not down to external factors or by chance, but are in fact due to the leadership of the sector and to the extraordinary heritage of a country that "embraces its cultural and linguistic diversity and plurality as a driver of cohesion and economic development".

Sustainable development and dignified employment

Pool Moncloa/JM CuadradoThe President of the Government conveyed the "firm commitment" of the new government to an "activity that is vital" for Spain, one which creates jobs and wealth and projects the image "of what we are as a country" to the whole world.

This commitment, he specified, will translate during the 1,400 days of this legislature into five specific areas: quality tourism that respects natural resources; an improvement in professional skills; dignified employment within the framework of social dialogue; real equality between men and women, and tourism as a factor of territorial cohesion and as a response to the demographic challenge.

The goal, argued Pedro Sánchez, is for the sector to harness its assets smartly to maintain its leadership position in all segments, whether dealing with business tourism, cultural tourism or tourism generated by hosting sporting events. To achieve this, he maintained, it is essential to act with a long-term perspective, and that is precisely the purpose of the Sustainable Development Strategy 2030, which in this field addresses such challenges as the diversification of products and markets and inland tourism.

At the inauguration, which was also attended by the Minister for Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, Pedro Sánchez also highlighted the vocation for dialogue with the sector, the public authorities and political forces to achieve broad-based consensuses to foster excellence in tourism.

Spain, headquarters of the World Tourism Summit

Pool Moncloa/JM CuadradoThe President of the Government expressed the government's backing for the initiative announced by the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Zurab Pololikashvili, to make Spain the headquarters of the World Tourism Summit. "We want to be the hosts, not only because we know how to do this, but also because it is what is expected of a country that leads by excellence, as indeed Spain does".

Pedro Sánchez advocated multilateralism and cooperation between countries, one of the foundations of the UNWTO. This commitment, he added, was made clear a few weeks ago when Spain hosted the COP25, also held at the IFEMA site. Pedro Sánchez praised the role of this institution, now in its 40th year, and defined it as a key player in business and congress tourism and a fine example of public-private collaboration.

Non official translation