WTM: Spanish Tourist Office launches 10-year responsible tourism plan

The Spanish Tourist Office has unveiled a 10-year plan to promote responsible tourism in a bid to sustain Spain’s ‘pole position’ as a holiday destination.

Plan FuturE is part of the Tourism Plan Horizon 2020 and has been kickstarted with a €500 million investment.

It will work with hotels, operators and agents to create sustainable and environmentally friendly travel products – in particular for the short-break market.

Projects include improving energy efficiency; raising awareness of lesser-known destinations to balance visitor numbers throughout Spanish regions; initiatives to reduce the effect of climate change; and restoring 1,250 miles of rail track in its Green Rails Programme.

Spanish Tourist Office UK director Ignacio Vasallo said: “Responsible travel can no longer be considered a niche market.

“It has to underpin all travel and constitutes an essential part of our tourism plans.

“This investment is designed to ensure we retain our pole position as a holiday destination.”

Spain minister of tourism Miguel Sebastian added: “After decades of success in attracting millions of visitors and expanding tourism beyond its beaches to all 17 of its regions, Spanish tourism officials have realised new policies and approaches are needed to adjust to current societal needs and to ensure that tourism continues to be a mainstay of the country’s economy.”

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