The minister opens the door to modifying air rates on the island and promotes its promotion as a safe destination
SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, Oct 7 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce, Reyes Maroto, announced this Thursday that the central government will promote a specific tourism plan for the island of La Palma, which was heavily affected after the eruption of the volcano in Cumbre Vieja.
Maroto has advanced this proposal to the members of the Canary Tourism Council with whom he has met in the Parliament of the Canary Islands accompanied by the King, Felipe VI.
The minister has shown all her “affection and support” for the ‘pretty island’ and highlighted the “commitment” of the central government to “repair the damage” that the lava has caused on the island through a special plan that will be “coordinate” with the Canary Islands institutions and the tourism subsector itself.
In fact, he has commented that next week there will already be a first work meeting.
In a subsequent meeting with the media, he pointed out that the island is now experiencing “a great social drama” but understands that tourism, when the emergency phase passes, must be an “important part” of the economic and social recovery.
Thus, he has said that in the short term the first thing is to “recover” the tourist destination of La Palma and transmit the information that it is a “safe destination” and therefore, they are working with the Cabildo and the Government of the Canary Islands to deploy a plan promotional and try to win back tourists.
In addition, he commented that it is necessary to focus on the modernization of the tourism product and the state of the infrastructures, at the same time that it has opened the door to a possible modification of air rates to gain competitiveness.
The minister has insisted on the “commitment” of the central government with the recovery of La Palma. “They are not alone,” he added.
At a general level, he pointed out that “certainties and uncertainties” weigh on tourism but it is recovering “little by little” and the objective is that the Canary Islands, with the support of the State aid package –ERTE, ICO credits, direct aid– , be the “protagonist” of the definitive reactivation in Spain.
In this sense, he has appealed to “invest” in the modernization and digitization of the product on the islands, but without losing the “identity” of the archipelago.
CASTILLA BELIEVES THAT YOU HAVE TO WORK ON THE SAFETY OF THE DESTINATION
The Minister of Tourism, Industry and Commerce of the Government of the Canary Islands, Yaiza Castilla, has pointed out that although tourism “is not the first emergency” of La Palma, it does believe that it is necessary to work on actions “in the medium term” because tourism ” it is a fundamental part “of the island’s economy.
Thus, he has indicated that the real situation of the eruption is monitored so that tourists who want to visit La Palma “have the information” and in line with the announcement of the minister, he stressed that they work directly with the council to define the actions.
In addition, he has valued the image of “unity and solidarity” that the “Canarian people” have given in the face of the volcanic eruption and advanced that the remaining portion of the tourist IBI subsidy will be used for the productive fabric of the palm tree.
The president of Ashotel and Cehat, Jorge Marichal, has remarked to journalists that during the volcanic eruption he has experienced various feelings, from initial “fear and dread” to “solidarity and courage”, passing through “rage and impotence”.
In this way, he has said that good words with La Palma “look good” but actions are needed because the tourist destination is “quite touched” and therefore he hopes that the message of “security” will be worked especially on.
MARICHAL REQUESTS AN IMSERSO FOR THE PALM WITHOUT AGE RANGE
The employers have proposed the development of a program similar to the Imserso for La Palma but without an age range; a protocol for tour operators that gives certainty to tourists if the airport is closed; the suspension of air taxes for the next few months; that the tourist voucher of the regional government be extended; the suspension of taxes for tourist complexes that are closed; access to financing lines and “relief” measures from the mortgage point of view.
Marichal, who has indicated that the minister was misunderstood when Cumbre Vieja exploded, has indicated that despite the effects of the volcanic eruption “life has to continue” and in that line, has stressed that “we must work” on the tourism to generate some type of product related to the volcanic experience.
“Now it is a drama,” he said, but understands that in the long term it has tourist value for the island.