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WTM Virtual: Balearic Islands' authorities reinforce value of British tourism

Balearic Islands' authorities have reinforced the value of British tourism to the archipelago in a virtual press conference during WTM Virtual.

The conference welcomed President of the Baleriac Islands Francina Armengol along with tourism minister, Iago Negueruela who both opened their speeches by giving thanks to the UK travel industry for their loyalty to the islands, before outlining their plans for post-pandemic recovery.

Iago Negueruela explained: “WTM 2020 marks one of the most critical moments for the tourism industry around the world... our priority is to work on solutions to be able to resume the safe flow of tourists to the islands and to bring back our loyal UK visitors.  We know that our islands are valued in the United Kingdom."

Expanding on the island's plan for recovery, Negueruela added, "Our goal is to implement the requirement for diagnostic testing for tourism arrivals to show active COVID-19 infections... the Balearic Islands government is willing to guarantee diagnostic tests for visitors.

We know that until a vaccine is implemented, we must learn to live with the virus and therefore our ambition is to reduce the infection levels and create safe protocols to allow tourism to resume.”

The tourism authorities also vowed their commitment to sustainability - striving to create a positive balance between the economic benefits of tourism and the need to protect the environment - with the islands' greatest asset being their natural heritage.

Negueruela continued: “We must promote the principles of the circular economy, focusing on business models based on differentiation and innovation that are respectful of the environment.

Tourism drives other economic activity which impacts energy and water usage, as well as food consumption. It is essential that we work towards sustainable economies and consider that environmental sustainability cannot be achieved without social sustainability.

This crisis has forced us to adapt and reevaluate our proposition. We need to work towards a quality tourism model that generates quality employment; and ultimately a healthy and competitive economy.”

Armengol ended with a glimpse to the future, highlighting how the islands will move towards a model which is more equipped to stop the “great threat of our time”; climate change and environmental destruction, focusing on protection, regeneration, clean energy and responsible use of resources. “From this pandemic we will emerge as a society more aware of the vulnerability of humanity and the fragility of the planet, a more responsible, more committed, more ethical society, which will not only want to travel and enjoy our islands, but will have a greater desire to take care of them.”

Hear more from the Balearic Tourism Authorities at http://www.illesbalears.travel/

 


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