The meeting in Arenal. | PSIB

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A tour is being made of tourist resorts in order to explain aspects of the new Balearic tourism law. Arenal was the first stop on Wednesday evening, the tourism minister, Iago Negueruela, explaining that, for the first time, legislation treats the tourism sector for what it really is - an industry. The new law therefore addresses the quality of tourism service but also the quality of work and working conditions.

The minister said that for the tourism industry to endure over time, the environment must be protected. Consequently, there are initiatives for environmental protection as well as the commitment to circularity. "In the Balearics we have 433,000 tourist accommodation places. We have stopped growth so as not to reach 450,000, as we believe that we have to invest in the 433,000 places we already have in order to generate more wealth and more jobs."

On improvements for workers, Negueruela emphasised the importance of occupational health. Incorporating workers into the law was a "matter of justice". People who work in tourism should not have to suffer occupational diseases by the time they reach the age of 60 because they have have had to deal with "extreme loads" during their working life.

The general secretary of the CCOO union's service federation, Silvia Montejano, highlighted the social aspect of the law - "a great achievement". "We have to extend the months of work and to eliminate tourism seasonality. But this has to be done by taking the occupational health of workers into account and by relieving workloads."

Her counterpart from the UGT, José García, said that there has never been as much social dialogue as over the past seven years. "This is demonstrated by a tourism law that takes into account the reality of workers in the sector." He drew particular attention to the law's requirement for elevatable beds and to the benefit this will have for workers.