The Balearic president, Marga Prohens, today defended the strategic lines of her government in tourism at the World Travel Market, which she summarised as a commitment to “the trinomial formed by tourism, sport and culture” and to “growing in value, not in volume”.

Marga Prohens addressing the UK tourist industry and media in London.

She stressed the importance of this fair for the Balearics, given that British tourism accounts for 24% of all tourists visiting the region.

After a meeting with ABTA, Prohens stressed that British tourism has performed “exceptionally well” this season, with an increase of 10% and also with a significant increase in spending.

“We arrived (in London) after having had a good summer and, after the meeting, we have an optimistic outlook for next summer, despite the international situation we are experiencing,” she said.

At the meeting, the Balearic delegation explained that the sustainable tourism tax “will be a tax for the purpose of improving tourist areas and destinations and for water projects, projects that can be seen in a transparent way by both tourists and residents, who can see where the money is going”.

According to Prohens, this represents “a change in conception because now the sustainable tourism tax will be used to improve the destination, the landscape, the environment, water and to reduce the footprint of tourism in any destination”.
She pledged “to take into account the requests of the islands and the local councils, which have been ignored for too long”.

She has also committed herself to “projects that alleviate climate change” and in favour of a fair decarbonisation, and with a differentiated treatment for being islands, with respect to the rest of the country.
According to Prohens, in the meeting “there was no reference to saturation or any negative problems of the past season”.

The president stressed that all the institutions of the islands that have attended this edition of WTM do so “with a single strategy and a single positive message to better manage the destination, all together, knowing that the competition is divided, but that both tourists and residents must see a single political line of action, which is a change from previous years”.

As part of this strategy of supporting “the trinomial of tourism, culture and sports” and presenting the Balearics “as a destination that can offer much more than sun and sand”, Prohens defended “a stable and attractive offer throughout the year in a commitment to quality and growth in value and not in volume”.

She highlighted the return of sports tourism and the fact that the Balearics hosts more than 40 international events a year, and said that the cultural industries of the Balearics “have a lot to show the world”.
Prohens cited the recent declaration of Talayotic Menorca as a World Heritage Site and “the commitment to contemporary art” with entities such as Es Baluard, the Museum of Ibiza and the reopening of La Lonja, which she said will have “a stable programme with renowned artists”, which will soon include “some of the best British artists to attract the attention of British tourism”.

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She also pointed out the support for a year-round programme of eclectic arts, the commitment to the Symphony Orchestra and the Music Box, which will open in 2025.
According to the President, the Government’s commitment to tourism “is the way that results in a higher quality of work and better working conditions, in continuous collaboration with employers and workers”.

Prohens pointed out that the British are already interested in visiting the Balearics from before May until November, which means that the season is getting longer and “there is still a big commitment to ensure that the major cultural and sporting events take place in the low season, and that means greater connectivity”, said the President, who added that all the Balearic institutions will hold meetings at the WTM with airlines “which are key”.

Although the meeting with ABTA did not address possible changes to the decree against excessive tourism, Prohens pointed out that the Government wants to manage these “negative issues” “calmly, without criminalising destinations, nationalities or ways of doing tourism”.
“We are defining what kind of destination we want to be and how we want to be seen in the world,” she said.

The acting Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Héctor Gómez, highlighted Spain’s strength and leadership as a “model of sustainable and social tourism”.

According to the minister, Spain has managed to maintain its leadership as a tourist destination in the United Kingdom after the pandemic, and his perspective is that “this will continue to be the case in the coming years”.

Gómez highlighted “the strength of our destinations, which are in an unbeatable position to lead the change in the tourism model towards sustainability and digitalisation, two of the keys to the tourism of the future”.
The minister highlighted the tourism relationship between Spain and the United Kingdom, which “is of great importance for both countries”.

The United Kingdom is the main source market for Spain, with more than 20% of the total number of tourists received.

Also, in the first nine months of the year, more than 13 million British tourists have arrived in Spain, 14.6% more than in the same period of 2022.
The British are also the tourists who spend the most money in Spain, with around 20% of total tourist spending corresponding to tourists of this nationality. Up to September, the British spent 15,854 million, 15% more than in the same period a year ago.

In addition, coinciding with the London event, Turespaña has launched an advertising campaign to position Spain as a ‘tax free’ shopping destination for the UK, with the aim of trying to increase this volume of purchases and contribute to the increase in the average expenditure per British tourist.
It has also launched another international advertising campaign to promote the 40th anniversary of its logo, a work by Joan Miró which was the first abstract symbol used in the world to identify a country’s brand.

Since the artist created this symbol, known as the Miró Sun, for Turespaña in 1983, this emblem has become a recognisable and globally recognised image and has helped to enhance the country’s reputation.
The target countries for this campaign, with an investment of 151,000 euros, are the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, the United States and China.