Meliá, Iberostar, Riu Hotels and Barceló launch initiative to boost mature destinations in Spain

3 min reading time

Published on 02/02/21 - Updated on 17/03/22

Magaluf, Spain

With a proposed investment of €2,000 million, the macro-project aims to regenerate mature areas in a dozen key locations, which generate a quarter of Spain's tourism volume.

Meliá Hotels International, Grupo Iberostar, Riu Hotels & Resorts and Barceló Hotel Group, have presented an action framework whose objective is to promote the renovation and repositioning of tourist destinations considered mature, with the help of the European Recovery Funds and through a public-private collaboration strategy, which will enable progress towards a more sustainable and competitive model for the Spanish tourism industry, generating a very important impact on territorial and social cohesion, as well as contributing to the double green and digital transition established by the European Union. For this purpose, together with the consulting firm FI Group, and with the support of 43 public and private entities, the hotel groups have submitted an Expression of Interest to the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, whose investment amount proposed by all the participating companies reaches 2,000 million euros for the next 5 years.

The pre-existing need to invest resources in these mature Spanish tourist areas before the current health and economic crisis has been exponentially increased by the current paralysis suffered by the industry as a result of Covid-19, with a risk of economic and social bankruptcy in these areas, which once led the country's tourism industry, but which face the great challenge of ensuring their continuity in the short term, as well as defining their medium-term roadmap.

Nevertheless, and despite their challenges, these destinations have been working and advancing in their reconversion during the last few years, with the push and public-private collaboration, and are responsible for almost a quarter of the volume of tourism in Spain, on of the most important industry in the country with a direct contribution in 2019 of 12.7% of the national GDP, plus a tractor effect that raises this ratio to 20%, adding the indirect impact.

Social cohesion, competitiveness and sustainability

The Manifestation of Interest is not limited to the tourism-hotel sector, but includes many initiatives in the sectors of commerce, leisure, sports and culture, understanding that the success of the transformation of any destination depends on updating all the services consumed by tourists during their trip, and thus promoting the deseasonalization of tourism, a more diverse and balanced segmentation of its clientele, and the coexistence between tourists and residents. In fact, more than half of the proposed investments are in commerce, leisure, sports and restaurants. 

The macro project of regeneration of mature areas would be implemented in twelve Spanish destinations traditionally dependent on tourism, such as Magaluf and Playa de Palma (Mallorca), Arona and Adeje (Tenerife), Benidorm (Alicante), Lloret de Mar (Girona), Puerto de la Cruz (Tenerife), San Bartolomé de Tirajana (Las Palmas), San Antoni de Portmany (Ibiza), Costa Calma (Fuerteventura), Teguise (Lanzarote) and Torremolinos (Torremolinos), San Bartolomé de Tirajana (Las Palmas), San Antoni de Portmany (Ibiza), Costa Calma (Fuerteventura), Teguise (Lanzarote) and Torremolinos (Málaga), many of which have already been identified in regional legislation instruments as mature and prioritized areas for improvement actions. It also has the support of several public and private entities, which have expressed their interest in the execution of the project, such as the Government of the Balearic Islands, mayors of the municipalities involved and different business associations, thus reflecting the cooperative and inclusive nature of the project and its backbone of the territory, which seeks to involve all the links in the value chain. It was observed that the project is strongly aligned with the priorities presented by these public entities in their Recovery and Resilience plans, which are currently being prepared and channeled to the central government.

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