THE Valencian Government handles a budget of billions of euros each year but allocates just 0.2 per cent of it to sustain the Valencia Tourism Agency.
The tourism sector seems to have been the great forgotten within the consell in the last decade, which, despite a severe economic crisis, is a sector that has continued to rescue the economy and create jobs.
The Valencia Tourism Agency spent €19.7million in marketing and promotions in 2007 just before the crisis hit, which has now decreased by around 70 per cent to €5.7million this year. Critics have complained this is not acceptable for an industry which maintains 300,000 jobs and accounts for 14 per cent of the GDP of Alicante Province.
The last major budget cuts occurred last year when the then Minister of Tourism reduced spending to €5.4 million allocated to projects aimed at promoting innovation and tourism competitiveness, including highlighting actions aimed at strengthening support for aspiring entrepreneurs to start a business.
In 2012, more cuts were made when aid was abolished that was for hotels to modernise their facilities, revoking subsidies (of between €3,000 and €1 million) that had been approved and affecting 100 hotels in the Region.
José María Caballé, president of the Servigroup chain of hotels, considered it a “mistake and very sad that the Administration has considered tourism as a Cinderella tale and there is not only no financial support but no planning for the future.”
Caballé added: “It is not enough to have good beaches and give good service. We need a support that has never existed and this is very sad.”