Spain invests €720m in tourism industry

09 Dec 2021

Spain’s Council of Ministers has approved additional financing for the tourism sector totalling just over €720 million.

This amounts to an extra €109 million above the announcement last week of €615 million.

According to Tourism Minister, Reyes Maroto: “These funds will allow the modernisation plan to go forward for tourism which in turn will allow the whole economy to recover and modernise.”

As it stands, the tourism industry makes up 12% of Spain’s economy.

In regard to the allocation of funds, €565 million will fund innovative projects focused on bolstering the sector’s competitiveness. This will include a boost to digital and smart technology, as well as increasing energy efficiency in tourism-related businesses. This new initiative, the Fund for the Competitiveness of Tourism Companies (FOCIT), allows the self-employed or companies within the sector that develop innovative projects to be entitled to special financing in the form of a loan, says a Spanish News Today report.

Funding is also being allocated to each of the country’s 17 regions to maintain historical heritage sites, plus Spain’s 15 World Heritage cities. Additional funding, totalling €62 million, is also being assigned to maintaining the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage walk.

Moreover, an annual €20 million is being allocated to research and development within the shipbuilding sector. Maroto said the funds are for “the development of projects that are innovative and unique, making us leaders in sectors, for example, such as offshore wind energy support vessels.”

The country’s Tourism Minister went on to add that tourism recovery was “a priority” and Spain’s “successful vaccination programme had allowed tourism recovery to become a reality.”

She went on to say: “For a long time we have focused on just counting visitor numbers, but we now want to talk about the quality, profitability and inclusiveness of the tourism industry.”