Benidorm claims that the Tourism VAT has an impact on tourist destinations
Toni Pérez has participated this morning in the conference "New Competitive Paradigms in Sun and Beach Destinations" which was attended by the Minister of Tourism Reyes Maroto and the Secretary of State, Fernando Valdés.
The mayor of Benidorm has participated in the inaugural panel focused on the reformulation of destinations and the post-covid stage we are facing. And three have been the central approaches of what Toni Pérez exposed: claiming structural funds beyond the conjunctural, claiming the values of sustainability and co-governance as bases of the projection of the future and awareness of the importance of tourism and value of the business and productive fabric of tourist destinations in general and of Benidorm in particular.
Toni Pérez began his speech by highlighting that with this pandemic "we have assumed the importance of tourism", but we must value an intangible such as "the component of happiness that it offers to all those who go to tourist destinations to enjoy life and that now they will do it more ”; intangible that must also be valued.
For the mayor of Benidorm, “what works is not taken care of”, in clear allusion to tourism, and that “much is said about emptied Spain and little about 'filled' Spain”, demanding financial aid for the city councils of tourist municipalities that allow them to serve services that have to be offered to oversized populations, taking the example of Benidorm, "seventy thousand inhabitants, when we have not been less than 130,000 even during the lock down." Other mayors of tourist destinations that were members of the panel abounded in this.
All the mayors present –Adeje, Calviá, Lloret de Mar, Marbella, Salou and Torremolinos– agreed that “under-financing is the“ endemic evil they endure ”, asking the mayor of Benidorm“ for a law that links a specific economy to the tourist destination. starting from Benidorm's profile ”.
And Toni Pérez advocated "a decentralization of VAT", emphasizing that "tourism is an activity that does not relocate; it is generated in the territory and effectively redistributes wealth socially and economically ”. And he explained that: "what must be done is a decentralization of that great contribution that is tourist consumption, through tourist VAT and pass it on to all those municipalities where it is generated."
Toni Pérez demanded that the municipalities participate in the co-management of the Next Generation EU Funds "as a window of opportunity", indicating that the component of these funds "will be temporary", and that the necessary structural financing is "the drama of tourist destinations in Spain; a structural problem that must be solved as soon as possible ”. In terms of per capita income, the average for Spanish municipalities is € 1,055, an amount that is reduced to € 647, 40% less, in tourist municipalities that include residents and tourists in their population.
With data that were exposed from the Exceltur report, Benidorm and the other six municipalities attending the meeting and epicenter of the genesis of the Solytur study presented -Adeje, Calviá, Lloret de Mar, Marbella, Salou and Torremolinos- represent 22% of tourist activity from the coast, which has a contribution of 108,000 million euros and supports 1.6 million jobs, generates 8.7% of GDP and 70% of tourism GDP, 8.8% of employment and 62% of tourism employment.
Toni Pérez, during his intervention, positioned Benidorm for its singularities that have made it occupy the podium of the Solytur studio: “the compact city, the city in height, the efficiency and sustainability that are in the DNA of the city that from the 56's has already protected its territory "
The mayor of Benidorm has maintained in his speech a constant on sustainability as a key to the future, pointing out that "it is one of the guidelines that is setting the world of tourism", claiming that it must be a premise beyond an approach. "This must be believed", said Pérez, noting that in addition to "being in the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda" sustainability "is one of the fundamental axes of the conversion-transformation into Smart Tourist Destinations", being DTI "the plan strategic Benidorm with its effect of revolution ”. Also adding the issues of "accessibility, sustainability, effectiveness in comprehensive water management, energy efficiency as determinants." He recalled that now they are factors that tourists and tour operators are looking for.
Toni Pérez defended the DTI strategy, encouraging municipalities "to believe it" and work on that roadmap and bet on participatory co-governance, using the example of Visit Benidorm, the validity and capacity of which the Solytur study collects as an example.
And on co-governance, the Benidorm experience and the management of Next Generation EU funds Toni Pérez pointed out that "if they are not co-managed, they will not achieve the true driving effect that is expected of them."
Finally, Toni Pérez reflected, at the proposal of the moderator and executive vice president of Exceltur José Luís Zoreda, on the situation, which he described as “dramatic”, demanding to ask “everyone who has been attacking tourism, what is their opinion now that we have seen the impact and repercussion it has, coming to consider it a perverse industry ”.
The mayor of Benidorm encouraged "to recover normality as soon as possible" and asked "patience and continue resisting" the sector, "from which we cannot ask anything more." In this sense, Pérez praised the work of the Visit Benidorm Foundation, noting that “it has maintained its activity in all markets from day one, maintaining the image of Benidorm and encouraging people to come with a #BenidormTeEspera”, thanking the business side for the continue “with financial support from the Foundation.
Finally, Toni Pérez praised the commitment of responsibility of the hotel sector with the city and tourism, recalling that “almost a year ago, on March 15, it was decided to close the hotel business in Benidorm, which materialized on March 18, six days before the government decreed it ”. And he pointed out, once again, "the courage of a decision to put the health and safety of tourists and workers before their own businesses, many of which have not yet opened their doors."
In the second part of the working day on 'New Competitive Paradigms in Sun and Beach destinations', the main lines of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan of the Government of Spain have been presented by the Secretary of State for Tourism, Fernando Valdés , prior to the panel where the business keys for the renewal of tourist assets have been exposed, where the executives of Atom Hotels, Europcar, Fuerte Hoteles and Loro Parque, HIP and Meliá have participated.
The closing of the day was attended by Minister Reyes Maroto, who was accompanied by the President of Exceltur, Gabriel Escarrer, and the President of the Spanish Federation of Municipalities and Provinces, Abel Abel Caballero.