The Minister of Tourism and Employment for the Government of the Canary Islands, Jéssica de León, engaged in productive discussions on Tuesday with representatives from the Confederation of Entrepreneurs of Tenerife (CEOE) and the Hotel and Extra-Hotel Association of Santa Cruz de Tenerife (Ashotel). During these meetings, she elaborated on the favorable state of tourism in the archipelago, which is set to achieve a remarkable turnover of nearly 20 billion euros by the end of this year.
These working sessions also provided an opportunity to explore avenues of collaboration between the public and private sectors, as well as to address the primary challenges of the legislative term. Notable among these challenges were administrative simplification and the enhancement of budgetary execution, as highlighted by De León.
Accompanying De León were the Deputy Minister of Employment, Isabel León, and the Director General of Infrastructure, Sustainability, and Tourism Quality, Héctor Mateo.
In the realm of tourism, specific attention was given to three critical issues being tackled by the Regional Ministry. These include promoting the destination to attract high-spending visitors, with a particular focus on strategic segments like the ‘silver’ generation and LGTBI travelers. The ministry is also targeting potential markets such as the west coast of the USA, Canada, and West Africa.
Furthermore, the ministry is gearing up to launch a Flight Development Fund aimed at encouraging airlines to establish new international routes to the Canary Islands.
Another priority outlined by De León is the improvement of tourism infrastructure implementation, with a budget of 62 million euros allocated for 2024. To achieve this, all proposed projects must have available land, a specific plan, and a defined budget.
The Canary Islands Government reaffirmed its commitment to streamlining and expediting administrative processes. Regarding the reform of the regulatory framework, De León emphasized the need to modernize sector regulations, as many of the existing laws are between 10 and 30 years old. She announced plans to approve the new Law for the Sustainable Management of Tourist Housing Use by the end of 2024, reform the 1995 Tourism Law, and regulate campsites and camping sites as tourist activities.
CANARY ISLANDS: PLANS TO STRENGTHEN VOCATIONAL TRAINING
Turning to the field of Employment, the ministry intends to strengthen Vocational Training (FP) and Intensive Dual Vocational Training to align with the labor market’s demands in the Canary Islands. This initiative aims to address job vacancies that are currently unfilled, such as electricians and welders.
Additionally, priority actions include enhancing workplace safety and well-being and bolstering the Canary Islands Employment Service (SCE) workforce. Efforts will also be made to promote the integration of vulnerable groups into the labor market.
Pedro Alfonso, President of CEOE Tenerife, expressed gratitude to De León for the exchange of information and the ministry’s supportive actions towards the sector. He concurred that administrative simplification and improved budget execution are key challenges for the legislative term. Alfonso and others requested dialogue initiation among various stakeholders to address unjustified absenteeism, which has risen from 4 percent to double digits.
Juan Pablo González, Manager of Ashotel, stressed the significance of these meetings in establishing synergies between the private sector and public administration. During the meeting, he highlighted the commitment of hotel entrepreneurs to transitioning towards a more sustainable model. This includes efforts to measure and reduce the carbon footprint of accommodations and the development of programs like ‘Circular Tourist Communities’ to minimize food waste and support locally sourced products.