Tourism in Spain is going to get a whopping €1 billion of extra funding in 2009 to help rebuild the Spanish tourism industry after recent slumps in 2008 and the beginning of 2009.
The basic gist of the story is that 11% of Spain’s GDP is derived from tourism, and a substantial number of people ore employed in the industry so any slow down has an immediate effect. Spain is the world’s most popular travel destination but recently other EU nations such as Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Cyprus, and non-EU nations such as Turkey, Tunisia, an Morocco have benefited.
€400 million will be spent on upgrading hotels and restaurants with the rest going into infrastructure and retraining of workers in the collapsed building industry to take on jobs in the tourism industry which despite the downturn is still considered the most sustainable industry in the country.
Here in Ronda we’ve noticed a huge drop in the number of tourists, mostly from the UK and America, typically because their currency just isn’t keeping up against the Euro, but fortunately tourism from Northern Europe, particularly France, the Netherlands, and Sweden has increased in recent months so not all is lost.
Tourists from Russia, Germany and other parts of North-Eastern Europe don’t seem to be making their way to Ronda in big numbers, the Costa del Sol and Costa Almeria seem to be getting those visitors so here in Ronda the extra funding to renovate some of our older hotels is going to be very welcome news.
On an unrelated note, it seems the white elephant motorway project between Ronda and Malaga may now not go ahead, but this is good news in some way since it means less damage to the environment, and the possibility of improvements to the existing road which ultimately will keep several small villages alive.
It bodes well for the AVE getting to Ronda as well, no direct motorway could mean demand for the high speed rail, now we just need the politicians to agree on a location for the station since the existing railway station is in the middle of some very windy track unsuitable for a high speed train.