The President of the CEOE emphasized the tourism industry’s capacity for creating jobs, while reminding those present that in 2011 the industry employed more than two million people.
On the occasion of the 3rd Summit of the Tourism Council of CEOE (Spanish employers’ association), opened officially by HRH Queen Sofia, Serrano stressed the need for a study on current trends with the aim of acquiring more in-depth knowledge on the sector and the market’s characteristics. "Likewise," he said, "it’s necessary to conduct a full study and diagnosis of the business tourism segment with the active and coordinated participation of both the private and public sectors, with the aim of analyzing the situation and identifying the steps that should be taken."
With this aim, the focus was placed on the industry’s interest in creating an effective measurement system for quantifying supply in an impartial, unified and acceptable way for public agencies and the private sector, alike. The classification system developed by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) was used as an example.
Vindicating the industry One of the most commented aspects by the President of OPC España had to do with an especially relevant issue: vindicating the role of PCOs as a quality guarantee, avoiding at the same time unfair competition. Along these lines, a key tool, as Vicente Serrano pointed out, is deepening the sector’s knowledge of the main feeder markets – developing specific promotional and marketing campaigns – and their main marketing channels.
Private-public sector coordination Another of the challenges facing the sector is to promote collaboration between the public and private sectors, so as to guarantee its growth, as Vicente Serrano stated: "It’s essential to increase the awareness of the public sector and society in general of the importance of mainstreaming and the contribution made by business tourism." Two of the main actions proposed were joint strategies and a sole brand image, since in this way "it will be possible to breathe new life into tradeshow and congress tourism, consolidating them as quality business tourism products in international markets."
International congress bids Among other proposals, Vicente Serrano alluded to two essential aspects for the industry’s growth: the promotion of rigorous feasibility studies geared to the correct reorganization of the business tourism industry, thus avoiding situations of over-supply and market saturation, and, moreover, submitting bids for international congresses via specific aid programmes. "Helping us," stated the President of OPC España, "finance trips, travel and facilities in highly interesting proposals, while involving our embassies and tourism offices abroad."
Gaspart: "We must work on finding solutions" The president of the Tourism Council (CEOE), Joan Gaspart, stated that this 3rd Tourism Summit of the CEOE had managed for the first time in its history to bring together all of the tourism industry’s most important players, thus showing how important tourism is for Spain.
Among the most worrying issues for the industry, tax issues, such as VAT, and the recent increase in airport tax, above all in Madrid and Barcelona, are at the forefront. Nevertheless, Gaspar was optimistic, stating: "We must work on finding solutions and trust that, as soon as possible, we’ll be able to recuperate the position we occupied before."
For his part, the president of CEOE, Juan Rosell, emphasized the tourism industry’s capacity for creating jobs, reminding those present that in 2011 the industry employed more than two million people.
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