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The President of the Island Council, Lola García, and the Minister of Tourism, Blue Economy and Biosphere Reserve, Marlene Figueroa, received the Minister of Tourism and Employment of the Government of the Canary Islands, Jéssica de León to hold a working meeting with the six municipalities of the Island.
"We have a lot of work to do from the regional government together with the Cabildos and the municipalities, but the first step is to listen to be able to prioritize and project what we can realistically move forward with," the counselor pointed out during the course of the meeting.
The Destination Tourism Sustainability Plans, financed from the Next Generation European Funds, were one of the issues that focused the interest of the meeting. In this sense, Jessica de León highlighted that within the framework of this strategy, the Ministry of Tourism and Employment has granted the island of Fuerteventura subsidies worth more than 17 million euros, through three plans.
On the one hand, the Strong Plan for Nature, promoted by the Island Council, received an endowment of 9,133,137 euros. According to the counselor, the plan, which must be executed before December 31, 2024, "comes to improve tourist infrastructure, promotion and digitalization", and is designed "for, by and with the municipalities of the island of Fuerteventura ”.
On the other hand, within the framework of the 2023 extraordinary call, the Ministry awarded two grants to the municipalities of La Oliva and Pájara to undertake their Tourism Sustainability Plans, within the framework of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plans (PRTR), charged to the European Next Generation Funds. The La Oliva Natural Tourism Sustainability Plan received an endowment of 5,991,345 euros, while the municipality of Pájara obtained 2,042,000 euros.
During the meeting, the counselor recalled that Fuerteventura led the tourist recovery in the Canary Islands after the Covid-19 pandemic, and advanced that for this winter air seats are expected to grow by 3.4% compared to the same season of the previous year. In this regard, she pointed out that British Airways, which had not flown to Fuerteventura since 2018, will resume its connections with the Island, operating a new route that will link London and Gatwick, with two weekly flights. In addition, Ryanair will link Fuerteventura with the second most populous city in Ireland, Cork, and for the first time, there will be a regular connection with the Polish city of Krakow.
For her part, the island president, Lola García, pointed out that "tourism accounts for 80% of the economic activity of Fuerteventura, so coordination between the Cabildo, the Government of the Canary Islands and Town Halls is important to have a good promotion, sustainable infrastructures and to promote actions for 9.1 million euros that are included in the Plan for Sustainability in Tourism Destination of Fuerteventura”. These actions, she pointed out, are directed "to transform the island's tourist destination into a more attractive and competitive one."
On this matter, the insular responsible for Tourism, Marlene Figueroa, also spoke, stressing that "40% of the actions of the Tourism Sustainability Plan are already in process and will be awarded soon." The island councilor was convinced that they will manage to allocate 75% of the funds before the end of the year, thanks to the collaboration between the Cabildo and the Government of the Canary Islands. She also defended the need to "advance in tourist infrastructures, improve them and turn the destination of Fuerteventura into something different".
De León and the president of the Cabildo, Lola García, also toured the Costa Calma area to learn about the demands of the sector in terms of accessibility in the surroundings of the Hotel Taimar, which has the distinction of the International Symbol of Accessibility granted by the Government of the Canary Islands.
De León wanted to take advantage of the meeting with the media to send "a message of support to those affected by the tragic fire that is plaguing the island of Tenerife", and to express her gratitude to the emergency teams who have been working tirelessly for days on the extinction of the flames.