SPAIN’S Prime Minister has said they tourism industry helps to break down barriers between the country and others and offers ‘enormous opportunities’ to revitalise depopulated areas.
Pedro Sanchez said Spain could look forward to returns from the €3 billion invested by companies in the country’s tourism industry. He was speaking at the 19th annual World Travel and Tourism Council in Sevilla City.
Sanchez said tourism offered Spain and interior areas experiencing falls in population particularly the chance to experience a new lease of economic life.
“All records for tourism in Spain were broken in 2018. Spain is an amazing country home to authentic treasures which deserve to be discovered,” the prime minister said.
Spain was now looking to expand its tourism offering beyond traditional ‘sun and beach’ holidays by opening up the interior to cultural and food and drink travellers, Sanchez added.
Sanchez called on the sector to be sustainable, saying it was the only way to be efficient. The prime minister added the success of tourism was tied up with a well-funded state that could support the industry.
New technology such as artificial intelligence would be a ‘great ally’ to tourism and the sector’s growth will help to tackle economic issues including inequality, Sanchez said.
“Tourism is a symptom of progress and a way of understanding the world. Travelling creates open, tolerant and diverse societies that have mutual respect for each other.
“Now more than ever we need to expand our horizons and not build walls but create new frontiers,” the prime minister said.