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Spanish Government confirms support to UNWTO Second International Conference on De-seasonalisation in Torremolinos

Spanish Government, through its State Secretary for Tourism, has been included in the agreement signed between the UNWTO and the Municipality of Torremolinos, to host, in June 2015, the Second International Conference on Tourism De-seasonalisation of this specialised organisation of the United Nations.

In a ceremony in the UNWTO offices in Madrid, the State Secretary for Tourism, Isabel Borrego, the UNWTO General Secretary, Taleb Rifai, the Mayor of Torremolinos, Pedro Fernández, and the Manager of the Palacio de Congresos, Luis Callejón, signed today the four sided agreement to define organisational aspects for this important international conference in june 2015. Fernández Montes restated his gratitude to the UNWTO General Secretary for choosing Torremolinos for this important international conference, and to the Ministry of Tourism, in the person of its State Secretary; Isabel Borrego, by adhering the agreement.

The mayor referred to the seasonalisation as the main problem of tourism destinations, with seasons going from 6 to 3 months per year, generally matching summer. Tourists want good climates, so destinations with mild climates have an advantage over others which do not have them, and this is Torremolinos example, he pointed.

Our season lasts 8 months, and our yearly occupation goes from 70 to 90 %. Further being the Municipality with the largest tourism accommodation capacity in the Costa del Sol, makes it to value its true size, indicated Fernandez Montes. He however signaled as Achiles heel the months of November to February.

In his reply, the UNWTO General Secretary has had eloquent words of praise to the activity undergone by the Tourism state Secretary, one of the most active government agencies in Spain and the world, and also to Torremolinos, without which the story of tourism can not be remembered.

Rifai insisted that seasonalisation is one of the main problems marking, not only the Mediterranean region, but is also common to all regions in the world. We cannot tolerate to waste such a high percentage of our investments by not exploiting our tourism resources all year round, with the further risk to undervaluate our labor forces.

The State Secretary of Tourism, Isabel Borrego, expressed in the name of Spanish Government, her gratitude to the UNWTO for its location in Spain of different sectorial conferences on Religious, Culture and Urban Tourism, and the announcement of this new international conference on de-seasonalisation in Torremolinos. We cannot forget that seasonalisation is one of the most important challenges that Spain must resolve. We have had impressing results in 2013, that are being overcome in 2014, but we must continue fighting for our competitivity, our product diversity and the creation of new. Borrego has not doubted to qualify Torremolinos as the leading engine in our tourism sector.

The Manager of the Palacio de Congresos, Luis Callejón, mentioned his satisfaction for the opportunity to witness what he has qualified as a milestone in tourism history, relating Torremolinos to this Second International Conference on De-seasonalisation. Referring to this, he considered the municipality in the sixties to lead the conversion from artisanal tourism into the large world wide industry which it is nowadays. Torremolinos has been the core and tourist image of Spain for thwo decades, and was able in the nineties, to regain flight as the Phoenix bird.

Callejón showed assurance that work in Torremolinos will be a useful example to follow in the fight against seasonalisation, as he emphasized the convergence of organisations part of the agreement: Municipal authoritiy as the fundamental part, State authoritiy as necessary support, and international organisations to form between all of them a lobby of interests that will draw the governance of this industry, that not only has a past, and a present, also a magnificent future.

The agreement signed today is an extension of the one signed in November 28 between UNWTO and Torremolinos Municipality. Among other details, the agreement establishes the terms of coordination between entities -including the Foreign Affairs Ministry- for the arrival of the delegates from its countries of origin, visas (when needed), security of delegations, as well as the infrastructures and services necessary for UNWTO to celebrate the conference.

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