25 Jul The Innovatur tourist areas have their say (II)
In the first part of this article, we heard first-hand from the Puerto de la Cruz Councillor for Tourism, Dimple Melwani, and her counterpart in Arona, David Pérez, about the needs and plans for tourism modernisation in the areas of Tenerife which are part of INNOVATUR. It is now time to hear what objectives have been set and commitments made to achieve the renewal of their destinations.
What objectives have been set for modernising the destination? What are the timescales?
Dimple Melwani (D.M.): We have been completely committed to this for several years now. The transformation is underway and for us it is vitally important for projects to be added, particularly if – like INNOVATUR – they are financed, because it will always build on what we are already doing.
David Pérez (D.P.): We can say that we will become a smart destination with a clear and precise roadmap, and that we are working with the University of La Laguna and with the Association of Scientific Experts in Tourism to develop Arona’s new tourism competitiveness plan. We have also acquired sustainability commitments that are being worked on quite seriously and we are working on inclusivity, for which we are also notable as a destination, as well as a strategy for international events.
“Neither the Administration nor a private company can develop a project on its own without the support of the other”, D.P.
And what commitments should hotels and businesses take on within these objectives?
D.M.: The commitment is already being seen with the agreements that are being signed within the Improvement and Modernization Plan (PMM). The first PMM has meant that the example of some of the establishments that have already renewed is encouraging others to join PMM 2. The political stability that the municipality is experiencing right now is essential to encourage action from the business owner who wasn’t previously sure whether to invest.
D.P.: Many businesses are already working closely with us. Arona’s hotels are gradually changing, for example some now specialise in “adults only”. But we understand that you can also choose to specialise in small, family hotels, which can be converted into boutique hotels; or shops can become more attractive by specialising. I don’t think it’s possible to conceive a strategy that doesn’t involve the participation of all the agents involved in the tourism sector: neither the Administration nor a private company can develop a project on its own without the support of the other.
How do you imagine the INNOVATUR tourist centre that you represent will look in ten years?
D.M.: Completely renovated and repositioned. The way people travel has changed. This means we have to become a smart tourism destination because that is the only way for us to have a seamless understanding of what visitors want and to be able to continuously review this to see how their demands and tastes change. In turn, this will allow us to position ourselves to achieve the most important thing: sustainable tourism. If you don’t have a sustainable vision, tourism activities will result in some good times but also periods when the forecasts of what we want to achieve for the city are not met. The good thing about having a smart tourism destination is that it also improves the quality of life of the people who live here.
D.P.: Los Cristianos will very soon have a second opportunity. We have the Paseo de los Tarajales, the regeneration of the beach at La Bahía de Los Cristianos, the El Mojón partial plan, new hotels, new shops, a new expansion zone, and a charming fishing village with an identity and culture that we must foster. This is the start of an era in which Los Cristianos will recover a leading, competitive and attractive role which will take it into the future.
“INNOVATUR is an opportunity to participate in a project that is not going to cost them anything and that will provide them with a market study and an action plan”, D.M.
What should hotels and businesses take advantage of in Innovatur?
D.M.: They should take advantage of the fact that INNOVATUR is an opportunity to participate in a project that is not going to cost them anything and that will provide them with a market study and an action plan. What I would ask of them is that, if they intend to renew and reposition themselves, they understand that the study is done with the intention that it is carried out, it shouldn’t just be left on the shelf.
D.P.: Clearly, I think that INNOVATUR is an opportunity that has presented itself and that we must take advantage of because having qualified and experienced training personnel is very important, but so also are creativity, digitalisation, presentation… Innovation is key, it is fundamental, and to be competitive you have to be trained, up to date, and aligned with what the market is asking for right now.
Recalled that if your hotel or commercial business is in Puerto de la Cruz, Los Cristianos, Funchal or Terceira Island and you want to have the opportunity to add to this project of tourist reactivation, sign up for the free expert assistance offered by INNOVATUR.