Palma.—The Spanish hotel sector is quietly optimistic about the perspectives for this winter but yesterday, hotel federations across the country backed a national cry from the sector for the new government to take “shock measures” to kick start the sector, make it more competitive and reestablish tourism as the driving force of the Spanish economy.

The President of the Spanish Hotel Confederation, Juan Moles, accused the current Socialist central government of having ignored the tourist industry and called for a completely new strategy after Sunday's general elections which the centre right Partido Popular are on track to win.

Recovery “Despite the increase of foreign tourists this year, the Spanish market is still struggling and is not showing any signs of economic recovery,” Molas said.

He called on the new government to be “bold and brave” when it comes to helping the tourist sector which has performed well this year and, during the peak summer months, employs over two million people “which is 112 percent of the country's net workforce,” he underlined. “So, for these reasons we need to see a government being proactive towards the tourist industry.
Proactive “We would like see fiscal incentives and benefits, a reduction in VAT and new, improved labour laws,” Molas added.
The President suggested that VAT (IVA) be slashed for the tourist industry for a period of two years.
Apparently similar steps were taken in France for the restaurant sector and it proved extremely successful.
Molas said that the management of the tourist industry by the current Socialist government has been “inexistent” over the past four years. “Tourism needs to have the post of Secretary of State reinstated - it was scrapped last year - because the tourist industry is vital for the economy and the future of Spain,” Molas stated.

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