Following the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the tourism sector, the Spanish Tourist Office (Turespaña) has underlined its commitment to sustainability.
This includes an investment of €4 billion from the European Commission’s NextGenerationEU (NGEU) Covid-19 recovery fund directed towards sustainable tourism development.
Spain’s tourism strategy looks to address the challenges of the climate crisis, endangered biodiversity and sustainable consumption and production.
Social sustainability has been outlined as a key focus helping to drive both environmental and economic ambitions.
Putting people at the centre of its strategy, Spain seeks to work directly with stakeholders such as local tourism businesses in the destinations, tourism employees and suppliers that make up the entire tourism supply chain.
Ongoing investment in education will seek to create cultural and behavioural change that positions tourism stakeholders as key drivers for change.
In the short term, Spain’s tourism strategy will focus on restarting tourism and regaining the trust and confidence from major tourism makers.
In the United Kingdom, the Spanish Tourist Office looks to work alongside the British travel industry to reach target audiences and encourage visitors to return to Spain in a safe way.
The tourist office will showcase the wide breadth of tourism product throughout Spain to support ambitions of seasonal and geographical diversification.
The longer-term tourism strategy is for Spain to become a sustainable and socially oriented destination.
This will encompass the promotion of circular economy strategies committed to reducing carbon and other tourism initiatives that advocate for the regeneration of tourism in a sustainable manner.
The strategy will look to achieve the long-term objectives of the 2030 Agenda and the Paris Climate Agreement, especially that which states governments will seek to achieve full climate neutrality in the second half of the century.
Another cornerstone of Spain’s tourism strategy is resilience planning.
The effects of the pandemic, especially on tourism, have demonstrated the importance of being ready for any crisis that the industry may face.
Ensuring there are measures in place to confront and mitigate such crises is important in any contemporary tourism strategy.
Manuel Butler, director of the Spanish Tourist Office in the UK, commented: “Today, we are at an important crossroads.
“To build back better is crucial for Spain, and so we are focusing our tourism policy on sustainability and responsibility.
“We have to forge a new path to scale up, broaden and consolidate with Spain and the UK working together to ensure a tourism recovery that is stronger and greener for the benefit of the people and the planet.
“We will be working closely with the UK travel trade to ensure our objectives are met and create a model that benefits both the destination and our tourism partners.”
Image: Madrid Destino