New criticism on the distribution of European funds. The president of Exceltur, Gabriel Escarrer, expressed this Tuesday the “deep disappointment” of the tourism sector for the distribution that the Government has made of the first tranche of 615 million euros of European funds for tourism, for understanding that it has been decided “by mere territorial quotas and without prior consensus” with the companies.
At the inauguration at Ifema of the 11 Exceltur Tourism Leadership Forum, the Executive Vice President of Meliá Hotels raised his voice on behalf of the main tourism lobby in Spain to denounce the bet on an “unproductive” adjudication of the recovery funds, because, in his opinion, “local quotas” between communities and municipalities and “minor or inconsistent projects” are being given priority, instead of giving priority to “transversal and tractor” projects and to the sites that most they need.
“The door is opened for any municipality to request funds to present projects with little or no potentialEscarrer said. The president regrets that the business community has been “absent” from the selection of projects awarded in the first round of distribution of funds.
The president of Exceltur recalled that two years ago, with the arrival of the new Government, asked Pedro Sánchez on behalf of Exceltur “sensitivity” to attend to the tourist industry, and then there was nothing to foresee, he said, that this sector was going to be the most damaged by Covid, with a drop in activity equivalent to 170,000 million euros, a decline of 6.9 points in tourism GDP, from 12.4% to 5.5%, and the “destruction of thousands of companies that have not been able to endure and 750,000 workers affected by ERTE or job loss ”.
“We also ask Pedro Sánchez for a decisive action to counteract the harmful effects of housing for tourist use, but it is still unresolved due to non-compliance with current regulations, “said Escarrer.
Exceltur asks the Government now to maintain aid to the sector in the form of ERTE, ICO line and aid from SEPI. It also reiterates its request for a specific Perte for tourism, which “allows addressing the urgent reconversion that literal mature destinations need and that is accompanied by strong investment commitments”.
The tourist ‘lobby’ complains about the first distribution of European funds, but “reaches out” to dialogue with a view to a new distribution and to reach reforms and investment commitment, “with tourism outside the political confrontation”.
Exceltur also hopes that travel restrictions will be eased and administrative obstacles at the borders will be eliminated. “International lack of coordination has blocked borders and it has weakened us by plunging us into a babel of regulations and restrictions that have harmed us much more than necessary,” added Escarrer. “Quarantines kill companies, jobs and dreams, and I hope that based on what we have experienced, we will begin to live with the virus and travel again.”