19 Dec Retailers and hoteliers talk about INNOVATUR (II)
In the first part of this interview the president of Ashotel, Jorge Marichal, and the general secretary of FAUCA, Abbas Moujir, told us about the needs and objectives of businesses and hotels for the reactivation of the tourist areas of Tenerife which are part of INNOVATUR. In this second part they offer us key pointers about the type of tourist the modernization of these businesses should focus on and how to reach these market segments.
What type of tourist should the shops and hotels of Los Cristianos and Puerto de la Cruz be focusing on?
Abbas Moujir (A.M.): The tourists who go to the municipality of Arona are those with greater purchasing power. In fact, we’ve already seen the creation of a type of trade aimed at these tourists in some areas of the municipality, and that is what must also be achieved in the north. We consider not so much the number of tourists, but the quality of that tourism. Sometimes the expenditure per tourist is more important than the number of tourists arriving. Therefore, we have to try to make sure that the tourists who go to Puerto de la Cruz are also higher quality tourists with greater purchasing power, but for that we have to have an offer that is appropriate for that type of tourist, which implies higher quality businesses, higher quality catering and an offering of differentiated products.
Jorge Marichal (J.M.): What we have to do is encourage more customers from those nationalities that are already present to come and even, if possible, open up to new market segments. In Arona we have English tourism which is thriving, Spanish tourism and German tourism. In Puerto de la Cruz the tourists are more predominantly German and Spanish. For non-hotel accommodation, Nordic tourists can be very interesting in the winter season. French tourism, which brings tourists disposed to stay in hotels of a higher quality and therefore with a higher level of expenditure, can also be a good bet; Italians, of course. We have to work with those markets in which we have perhaps a smaller presence than in traditional markets, because we have some clouds on the horizon that may complicate our existence, such as Brexit, and we have to react to this.
“INNOVATUR can benefit businesses by advising them and by including them in a network where they can receive timely information”, Abbas Moujir (FACUA)
What advantages does registering with Innovatur offer these business people?
A.M.: Everything that might improve your activity and your business is important. We believe that INNOVATUR can benefit businesses by advising them and by including them in a network where they can receive timely information. We therefore believe that this is a worthwhile project that should last over time.
J.M.: It allows hoteliers to have a support tool when transforming their business, when investing in them. Hoteliers know how to sell beds and negotiate with tour operators – they know how to provide a quality service – but they are not architects, they are not decorators, they are not market analysts predicting the shape of the market in the coming years… Well, these tools, both investment and market forecasts, can be provided by INNOVATUR. Of course, it’s a great help for hoteliers to be able to take these steps to transform their businesses with greater security and knowledge.
“(INNOVATUR) it’s a great help for hoteliers to be able to take these steps to transform their businesses with greater security and knowledge”, Jorge Marichal (Ashotel)
How do you imagine the sector you represent will look in ten years’ time in these tourist areas?
A.M.: Businesses will continue to evolve, adapting to new times which will come and new actors which will emerge. You only have to look at the main streets of Puerto de la Cruz or Los Cristianos to see how they have evolved in the last
forty years in parallel to the new consumer and the new tourist. Therefore, ten years from now everything points to commercial establishments with lots of LED screens and not much paper, and perhaps with only a few products in-store and more virtual shop windows. The shops in Puerto de la Cruz and Arona will also evolve and adapt to the new times.
J.M.: The desirable future is for there to be renovated hotels, hotels specialising in different customer segments, with high occupancy levels and, above all, significant expenditure, which is what is going to distribute the wealth from those who visit us, offering quality services with trained staff. I believe that the desire of anyone working in the sector is for this industry to be even more consolidated, for it to continue to be the economic engine of our archipelago, that we have professional staff, that we can also export knowledge of what we do because we do it very well.
On the Innovatur blog, we have now heard the views of the main INNOVATUR partner and those of the tourism representatives from the areas of Tenerife which are part of the initiative. We are now hearing from the organisations which represent commercial establishments and hotels. If we had to highlight a common theme, it would be the need for the businesses and hotels in these destinations to commit to innovation so that the new tourist does not leave them behind.
To do this, in addition to all the useful resources that can be found on the Innovatur blog, in this year which is about to begin you will have the opportunity to take action. Signing up for this project and benefitting from one of the innovation programmes that will be implemented in 2019.
Wishing everyone a happy and innovative 2019!