Reyes Maroto, the national minister for industry, trade and tourism, said yesterday that if the measures approved by the government in response to the collapse of Thomas Cook are not sufficient, they will be "strengthened".
Maroto accepted that one of these measures hasn't had the desired effect. This was a broadening of the social security discount for employees with "fijo discontinuo" contracts in the Balearics. The hope was that hotels would stay open, but in fact some decided to close earlier than usual in October.
She noted that unemployment in the Balearics went up over 10,000 in October, adding that the government's aim was that the Balearics should start the next season in February with the same number of people signed on for work as February this year.
The minister stated that Thomas Cook had served to confirm the need to modernise the model of tourism and to further emphasise "tourism of quality". In this regard, she pointed to an increase in tourist spending and to the creation of employment of greater quality.
Regarding Brexit, she said that although there is uncertainty, "the concern has lessened". The Spanish government is "calmer" than it had been about UK government strategy, while the British tourism market "is stabilising" and at the same time spending more. Maroto stressed that it is essential that Spain attracts "a quality British tourist".
Speaking about the Spanish economy, the minister said that "no one" sees there being a crisis in the short term. Although there has been a slowdown, the government as well as analysts believe that the economy will continue to grow and to do so at a higher rate than other European countries.
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