Mariano Rajoy and acting tourism minister Soria right. | Juan Carlos Hidalgo


Mariano Rajoy, for the time being Spain's acting premier, said in Madrid today (Tuesday) that championing tourism is to bank on "our joint prosperity" and on an industry that has raised Spain to be a world leader in tourism competitiveness, as it was last year, having risen from eighth in 2011. Tourism, Rajoy observed, is a model that exemplifies the improvement in the Spanish economy in recent years.

The acting prime minister was speaking at the eighth forum on tourism leadership arranged by the Exceltur association of leading tourism businesses ahead of the Fitur travel and tourism fair which begins tomorrow in the Spanish capital. He said that during the time of the legislature which ended with the December general election, Spanish government support for the industry had been purposeful and its commitment both real and operational.

He pointed to the new record of international tourist arrivals over the first eleven months of last year - 64.6 million visitors - and to the anticipation of the year as a whole having generated an increase in tourist spending of over six per cent.

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"We cannot create obstacles or barriers for this industry," he added in stressing the need to work towards integrated tourism policies in both the medium and the long term in order to ensure the sustainability of Spain's tourism model.

Meanwhile, the acting national tourism minister, José Manuel Soria, speaking at the same forum, referred to three factors upon which Spain's future tourism success will depend: trust, in order to consolidate international investment; political stability, a crucial factor for investor confidence; and security, especially in light of jihadist terrorism.

As for the Balearics, President Armengol and Vice-President Barceló are scheduled to attend the fair. More information regarding presentations at the stand reveal that they will include ones for "Enotourism in the heart of Majorca" (about the Binissalem Designation of Origin wines), the audio guide that is now available for Alcudia's old town, the guided tour of the Sa Bassa Blanca Museum in Alcudia which is operated by the Yannick and Ben Jakober Foundation, and "El camino de la sal" (the salt way) by Flor de Sal d'Es Trenc.