Adeje, Arona, Guia de Isora, San Bartolomé de Tirajana and Mogán received 47.5% of visitors last year, between them accounting for more than 6.2 million tourists in 2015. They represent almost half of all visitors to The Canary Islands. In addition, 64.7% of the total number of accommodation spaces available in the Archipelago are located in these five municipalities, to accommodate these millions of visitors annually. And in them 67.7% of the total tourism related IGIC (local VAT tax) is collected.
The figures are significant enough to highlight the importance of these main tourist town halls joining together in the decision to make one “supramunicipal” association through which they can have a group forum for the sector. The mayors of these five municipalities – José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, José Julián Mena, Pedro Martín, Marco Aurelio Pérez and Onalia Bueno – are fully aware of the challenges facing tourism, an industry which provides so much benefit to Canarian society as a whole.
The data has led a clear decision by these five municipal councils, of southern Tenerife and southern Gran Canaria, to create the Association of Tourist Municipalities of the Canary Islands, which was inaugurated on Wednesday November 30 with its official headquarters to be the Costa Adeje Tourist Development Centre, on Tenerife.
In the acts of the association’s constitution, the five mayors confirm their clear will to coordinate efforts and objectives to respond to challenges in an increasingly competitive world market and in which the Canary Islands must advance in the transition from its traditional tourism model, based essentially on the sun and beach, towards a new model that complements and improves new products and segments.
The founding members of the Association consider that each of them should not only lead this process of tourist renewal in their municipalities, but coordinate to capture the necessary resources to make it possible, as well as sensitize the rest of the public administrations about the issues they face. It is clear that municipal budgets are not sufficient to address the improvements needed in public infrastructure and major equipment that the sector has identified as being necessary in the coming years, so it is instead necessary that they attract more external resources to finance renovation as a whole.
The five mayors agree that the tourism sector can play a much more active role in the necessary diversification and internationalisation of the Canarian economy. In the first case, establishing a more inclusive and sustainable connection with the other economic sectors (agricultural, fishing, technological or industrial). And in the process of internationalisation, take advantage of potential opportunities in a complementarity manner instead of through a sense of competitiveness, capitalising on their offerings and our closeness to Africa. Attracting European funds to finance good neighbourly projects and improving economic relations with the neighbouring continent is one of the objectives of this new Association of Tourist Municipalities of the Canary Islands.
The Association of Tourist Municipalities of the Canary Islands has begun from the off with the intention of representing all tourist municipalities on the islands, who wish to join them. They are open, therefore, in the future for new partners who wish to share their philosophy and objectives,