Palma.—The Business Alliance for Excellence in Tourism (Exceltur) has asked the incoming Partido Popular Central Government that it gives an urgent fresh lead to the tourist industry as the prime motor for the country's economic growth and job creation.

Sebastian Escarrer, Exceltur's President and Vicepresident of the Majorcan hotel group, Melia Hotels International claimed yesterday at the presentation of International Tourism congress to be held in Madrid on 17th January, that “there is no other combination - other than that of tourism and construction - which can destroy the scourge of unemployment currently affecting 5 million people in Spain.” Escarrer said that in his view, the government should set up a “State pact for tourism” as soon as it possibly can. Escarrer said that the proposal envisaged improving resources and coordination throughout all regions of the country to promote the tourist industry. He said that regional legislation the length and breadth of Spain should be geared to facilitate tourist development, rather than act as a barrier to it. Escarrer predicted that if such cooperation and local authority coordination were in place, then the industry would undergo average growth of 2.6 percent during the next term of office of Central Government. “Tourism will then be able to take its rightful place as the chief economic motor of the nation,” said Escarrer. “It (the tourist industry) should be seen,” he continued “as Central Government's main weapon in its war on unemployment.” “For every 100 jobs which are created as a direct result of activity in the tourist industry, a further 49 are established as an indirect result of it,” claimed Escarrer. “And there is no other sector which can achieve that,” he pointed out.

Exceltur, said Escarrer, has forecast that such a national pact would mean the creation of 35'000 jobs every year. He said that Spain has to reassess its position, reinvent itself and start to grow again.

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