In his recent speech to members of the tourism industry, Mariano Rajoy highlighted the fact that performance by the sector "has once again become a source of satisfaction and good news this year. That was the case throughout the crisis and has been for decades".
According to the President of the Government, these results are due to the extensive nature and high quality of the tourism offer in Spain but also to the efforts made by the competent authorities and the business leaders and employees in the sector, who he congratulated on their hard work.
The efforts made by everyone in the sector mean that the tourism data from 2013 are "the best figures in the history of Spain". Mariano Rajoy explained that the 60 million inbound tourist barrier has been broken for the first time after growth of 5.6% on the previous year was recorded in 2013 and the previous record set in 2007 of 58.7 million inbound tourists was shattered.
Spain has thus returned to "third place in the world according to this indicator, after moving above China" to a position behind France with 83 million inbound tourists and the United States with 67 million.
The President of the Government underlined another important indicator: spending by inbound tourists also posted a new all-time record with a figure of 55.9 billion euros between January and November 2013 – almost 9 points higher than the figure posted in 2012. According to Mariano Rajoy, "we can clearly see that a new record is being set and that last year was also a record in terms of spending per tourist".
Leaving the crisis behind
The President of the Government acknowledged that "this crisis has caused unquestionable damage" – as highlighted by the unemployment figures – but that "Spain is now leaving the crisis behind and heading towards recovery".
In his opinion, the reformist programme implemented at the start of this legislature has led to a change in the global perception of Spain and "the world is now betting on Spain because Spain today is a winning bet".
Evidence of that, he said, can be found in the fact that the Government of Spain is forecasting growth of 0.7% this year – a forecast that is "rather conservative when compared with other forecasts being made on the performance of our economy".
However, the President of the Government said that "confidence in our future is not synonymous with satisfaction and by no means a reflection of decreasing efforts" because the reforms will continue. In fact, he said the government will present "a comprehensive fiscal reform aimed at improving the fight against fraud, stimulating business activity and alleviating the fiscal burden on households" within the next few months.
He highlighted the strong influence by the tourism sector on this turnaround, a "true flagship of our economy". Mariano Rajoy believes that tourism has a "trickle-down effect" on other parts of the economy and "is one of the sectors posting the best performance data during years of real hardship, with positive results even at times when it was thought impossible".
Tourism: Spain’s face to the world
The President of the Government said that this positive performance by the sector in recent years has brought about a golden era for Spanish tourism, with positive figures posted by all autonomous regions and a successful combination of opening up to new markets and a strengthening of results from existing markets. The reactivation of domestic tourism can be added to this scenario.
The President of the Government believes "the right atmosphere must be created for tourism activity to flourish, a stable framework for investment, one capable of guaranteeing the rules of the game and enhancing entrepreneurship and attracting young people into this sector".
Mariano Rajoy encouraged business leaders and employees in the tourism sector to keep working together with the public authorities on maintaining this positive trend and stressed that "the ‘Spain’ tourism brand is undoubtedly a powerful aspect of our country brand as it represents our face to the entire world".
Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/42411/
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