Adeje will bring together a large group of European hotel and tourism representatives from 35 countries to reflect at the end of April on the future of the sector in the European Union.
Thus, professionals from hotels, restaurants, bars, cafés and similar establishments in Europe will meet from 26 to 28 April in the south of Tenerife to hold the 86th General Assembly of the umbrella hotel association, Hotrec, a professional convention which will be held at the GF Victoria hotel.
Tenerife was the destination chosen last October in Stockholm as the venue for the next assembly of the European hotel and catering industry, with Ashotel as the host association, in addition to the Spanish Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Accommodation (CEHAT) and Hostelería de España as co-organisers.
A press conference was held in Adeje to present the key points of this assembly by the president of Ashotel and CEHAT, Jorge Marichal; the mayor of Adeje, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga and the president of the Island Council of Tenerife, Pedro Martín.
During the event, video messages were also delivered by the president of Hotrec, Alexandros Vassilikos, and the president of Hostelería de España, José Luis Yzuel.
Jorge Marichal recalled that hospitality activity in Spain “is a fundamental pillar” of the economy and part of the “DNA” of the country, which is why “it is a great satisfaction” to become “a meeting point for the sector at European level”.
He also pointed out that “until now, Spain and the Canary Islands have been eminently tourist destinations, a perfect opportunity to tell Hotrec representatives from eminently emitting countries what they are like as a destination”.
“We are a sector of which we should feel very proud,” said Marichal, who regretted that in certain areas tourism activity is denigrated.
The president of Ashotel and CEHAT reported that this business meeting comes at a key moment, just when on 1 July Spain will assume the Presidency of the European Union, “a unique opportunity to expose the idiosyncrasies of the island territory, in terms of the differentiated economic and fiscal regime (REF)”.
In this respect, he added that the geographical situation of the archipelago makes it highly dependent on air connectivity, “the Achilles’ heel” of the destination.
“It is important that we are able to make our colleagues understand that the legislation being negotiated in Europe could affect the Canary Islands as a top tourist destination,” said Marichal, in a clear reference to the current debate on the so-called ‘green tax’ on aircraft fuel.
EXEMPTION FROM THE GREEN TAX
In this regard, he recalled that the Canary Islands tourist boards and other business and political organisations have requested that the Canary Islands be exempt from environmental taxation.
This request is justified not only by the Canary Islands’ status as an outermost region, but also by the importance of tourism in its productive fabric, based on efficient connectivity with its main source markets, the European countries, according to a note from Ashotel.
Pedro Martín highlighted the fact that Tenerife is once again hosting an international event to debate and reflect on the future of the hotel industry, and emphasised the work carried out to promote new tourism strategies linked to sustainability and digitalisation.
TENERIFE ISLAND COUNCIL: COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABILITY
“Europe has outlined a strategy for the present and future of sustainable tourism, and in Tenerife we have aligned our objectives to promote economic, social and territorial cohesion, strengthen the resilience of the destination, mitigate the effects of the pandemic and support the ecological and digital transitions, two key factors of competitiveness,” he said.
Martín thanked the organising entities for having made it possible for this European business conclave to be held in Tenerife.
“It is important that we can listen to the sector about where it is moving forward and bring the public administrations and the private sector into line,” he added, and praised the importance of Tenerife as a destination that “brings together the largest total air traffic in the Canary Islands and connects with 137 destinations in 31 markets through 54 airlines”.
Meanwhile, for José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, this is a “good time” as tourism keeps the main engine of the economy dynamic.
He also considered that “it is important for the Canary Islands, Tenerife and Adeje that this assembly is held here, because it demonstrates the capacity and solvency to organise conventions of this type, with high technical and infrastructural demands, which keep them at the centre of the sector as a leading and consolidated destination that seeks constant excellence”.
UNION OF THE PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SECTORS
He also added that the fact that the main organisations that bring together the European hospitality sector “is essential to make visible the demands and the need for the public and private sectors to go hand in hand for mutual benefit”, and in the case of the administrations, “so that the wealth generated is distributed properly and serves to provide opportunities for all citizens”.
“We will not cease in the demand for the necessary improvement of all services offered to tourists, in the pursuit of excellence in all areas,” said the mayor of Adeje, who cited training as an example of this need for improvement.
Finally, he congratulated the organisers for bringing this event to Adeje and recalled that “you don’t play with things to eat, and tourism is one of those things to eat”.
For his part, Alexandros Vassilikos spoke at the press conference via a video message.
“We are pleased to see that our industry is strong everywhere in Europe, even in the outermost regions such as the Canary Islands,” said the Greek businessman, who added that “delegates from all over Europe will travel to Tenerife” to participate in the General Assembly, which will allow them to “observe and experience the wonders” of the island.
Likewise, José Luis Yzuel also considered in a recorded video message that the Hotrec General Assembly “is an opportunity to demonstrate the unity of all European countries on a subject as important for everyone as tourism”, at the same time as he highlighted the fact that it is being held in the Canary Islands, “a perfect setting to work side by side and to be able to advance and anticipate all the future challenges that are coming at a European level”.
The representatives of the European hospitality industry will debate and reflect during the three days on issues related to sector regulations and standards, digitisation, training and talent retention in the sector, accessibility, e-commerce and tourist accommodation and sustainability, among other issues.
Ashotel has also programmed for the second day of the assembly a technical conference on tourism sustainability, one of the key axes of the sector, in which different specialised professionals will take part.
This conference, which will take place at the facilities of the Instituto Tecnológico de Energías Renovables (ITER), an international benchmark research centre for renewable energies, engineering, telecommunications, the environment and genomics, dependent on the Cabildo of Tenerife, will include a visit to bioclimatic housing and will be a meeting point for the exchange of real experiences that some associated and European companies have implemented in the field of sustainability.
The internal working sessions on the first day will take place at the GF Victoria hotel in Costa Adeje. In addition, Ashotel has designed a whole programme of parallel activities to promote knowledge of the destination.