28 Jun The Innovatur tourist areas have their say (I)
Although INNOVATUR is led by the Tenerife Island Council, and run with its partners Turismo de Tenerife and the Chambers of Commerce of Madeira and Angra do Heroísmo (Azores), the key members of the team are the tourist areas where this commercial and accommodation renovation project is being implemented. Here, we invite you to learn more about two of them, Puerto de la Cruz and Los Cristianos, through their respective Tourism councillors, Dimple Melwani and David Pérez.
Why do you think that the tourism centre you represent has been selected as one of the INNOVATUR development areas?
Dimple Melwani (D.M.): Puerto de la Cruz is the first tourist destination in the Canary Islands to be in the middle of the process of renewal and repositioning, so it makes sense. For some years now, the destination has been working through the Urban Rehabilitation Consortium and in collaboration with the private sector, which is why I believe it is the perfect municipality to implement a European project such as INNOVATUR.
David Pérez (D.P.): Playa de Los Cristianos is an important enclave within the island group; it’s the primary commercial centre in the south of Tenerife and it is true that it needs innovation to recover the commercial splendour that it once had. It has all the ingredients for success, including a very high throughput of visitors, and meets all requirements to regain that commercial competitiveness.
“We must satisfy the new generations whose tastes and needs are very different from those of a decade ago”, D.P.
What do the hotels and shops in these centres need from tourism innovation?
D.M.: Our hotels are already on the right track, although it is true that there are still some that are not part of these improvement plans; they must be promoted through innovative projects, such as those carried out by Nosolocamas. On a commercial level, the renovation has to be even greater. We are seeing some changes in the tourist destination because a more varied product offer has arrived, but there is still a lot to be done in terms of the image of trade – which has to be more unified – and regarding the display and variety of products. It is important that we value the local, because when tourists travel they want to take home something typical from the place they visit and that’s why we have to have both offers available in the destination: international products and local products.
D.P.: We must satisfy the new generations whose tastes and needs are very different from those of a decade ago. We must make an effort to keep up and remain competitive.
“our goal is to attract quality tourism, tourists who spend at the destination, who enjoy the different services and added value goods that we can offer”, D.M.
How would you define the tourists you want to attract through this renewal process?
D.M.: While the process of renewal and repositioning in which we are immersed continues, our goal is to attract quality tourism, tourists who spend at the destination, who enjoy the different services and added value goods that we can offer. For this, we must have the right promotional strategy because for many years Puerto de la Cruz was positioned as a “sun and beach” destination. Indeed, it has an exceptional climate, but our opportunities lie in active tourism, cuisine, and culture and traditions.
D.P.: Basically, we’re very interested in tourists who are 25 to 50 years old, single or married, without children (because we’re not talking about family tourism), who have an interest in culture, sports and social events of any kind, as well as environmental issues. Primarily we’re talking about Europe, where there are countries with young people who become independent travellers much earlier than in Spain, as is the case of the Nordic countries, for example, who have a higher purchasing power than we’re used to. Capturing them is a challenge for us. They are the public that interests us because they are the most consumerist public. Nor can we forget niches that are very important for us, such as inclusive tourism, which is proven to spend three times more than conventional tourism.
If you’ve found this post interesting, next time we’ll continue talking with the Tourism councillors as they explain to us each area’s modernisation plans and how INNOVATUR can help companies in these destinations to successfully implement them.
And 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.