“Sustainability and excellence. They are both the leitmotiv of our work, especially in these last two years in which the pandemic has come to remind us that this is not a time of change, it is a change of time,” he explains. Jose Miguel Rodriguez Fraga, mayor of Adeje, during the presentation of the work that the Costa Adeje destination will carry out this year during its participation in the International Tourism Fair of Madrid (Fitur 2022).
The blow of the pandemic on the main economic engine of the Canary Islands has been especially intense in Adeje. According to the latest tourism competitiveness report issued by Exceltur (pre-pandemic), Costa Adeje is the most competitive destination in Spain. This study places the municipality of the South of Tenerife as the most competitive among the 15 most important. It highlights aspects such as job creation –almost 16,000 direct in the sector–, being the destination with the most five-star hotel beds and the one with the highest hotel turnover, with almost 700 million euros.
The pandemic and the crisis generated by the covid-19 meant that, “in the blink of an eye, we became one of the municipalities that generated the most employment to the one that had the most companies closed because tourists did not come.” Adeje took immediate measures such as freezing taxes or establishing aid for companies and freelancers in the local economic sector that had less muscle. “We tried to reach everyone, leaving no one behind, especially the most vulnerable on a personal level and the companies on which many families depended.”
After that initial hemorrhage and after focusing all efforts on health, social and economic emergencies, Adeje accelerates all the processes of transformation and improvement of the destination that were underway. The work focuses on updating the tourism model that will dominate in the coming years, making it more attractive to what tourism demands: digitization, sustainability and intelligence together with an ingredient that has always defined Costa Adeje’s commitment: excellence. .
In recent months, Adeje launched the project of good health practices in the fight against covid, a guarantee stamp endorsed by the University Institute of Tropical Diseases and the University of La Laguna. “It was the first thing we got to work on because we had to reinforce the message to the world that we are a safe place, that you can visit, while guaranteeing the safety of all workers,” said the mayor.
“Our commitment to sustainability is absolute and the Smart Tourist Destination project contributes a lot”
A 6 million project co-financed by the Government of Spain was launched. In 18 months Adeje DTI will culminate, when the municipality will have all the characteristics of a Smart Tourist Destination. It will serve to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of all public services, in addition to monitoring most of them. “Our commitment to sustainability is absolute and this project contributes a lot,” assured Rodríguez Fraga, for whom “it will help improve the quality of the destination and the lives of our people, eliminate the carbon footprint and make it clear to tourists that Adeje is meets one of their main demands.”
In a few weeks, a project will begin to work so that homes, communities and public buildings are powered by photovoltaic energy, creating sustainable communities. In addition, the productive forest, which harvests tons of food for the local Food Bank, will be expanded as a carbon sink in the center of the municipality.
Adeje works on similar initiatives in the Association of Tourist Municipalities of the Canary Islands, endowed with 8 million and designated by the Ministry of Tourism as pilot projects in terms of decarbonization and efficiency of public services. The improvement and renovation of public spaces and key infrastructures for the municipality and the destination, the projection of a stadium or a new theater – which will be completed in a year – or the extension of the blue flags for this year are issues that have also been accelerated and improved during the pandemic.
All these plans seek to “improve the lives of our people, but also to ensure that Adeje continues to be attractive for quality investments and for the challenges and requirements that new tourists demand. They want an authentic destination, committed to sustainability, digitally accessible and where there is a good quality of life, which is why this work is also important for tourism”.
But Adeje does not stop working on the traditional aspects that are promoted at a fair like Fitur, such as sports activities, leisure, cultural or social events, “quality tourism associated with elements such as fashion or gastronomy in a high-level hotel that allow us to bet on a much more profitable model, “according to Councilor Adolfo Alonso. In this framework is the next celebration of Costa Adeje Fashion Beach or concerts by leading figures such as Alejandro Sanz. “Nor should we forget that in the midst of the pandemic, two Michelin-star restaurants decided to locate in our municipality, something that helps us in that search for excellence,” he added.
Rodríguez Fraga highlights, in a very special way, that, “once again”, the private initiative has risen to the occasion during the months of the pandemic, not only “stoically enduring the circumstance, but also reinforcing its investment and its commitment to Adeje and their templates. He referred to the fact that, in the midst of the pandemic, three hotels were opened in Adeje, two of them five-star, and seven were renovated, with an investment of more than 150 million euros.
The objective of Costa Adeje in Fitur is “to reinforce our image, help the Government and the Cabildo and the rest of the destinations on the Islands in this work”. The mayor assured that Adeje will do so hand in hand with the island administrations and the alliance of tourist municipalities to which it belongs. The agenda of the Adeje delegation at Fitur starts with the inauguration of the Exceltur Forum and includes, among dozens of meetings and attendance at forums, two presentations at the AMTC stand, the mayor’s participation in a forum organized by the Ministry of Tourism and in a debate at the Hotel Technological Institute. The presentation of the Villa de Adeje Rally and several meetings outside the fair will also be held, such as the one planned with the Secretary of State for Tourism.