The tourism boroughs ask the regional government to implement concrete measures to combat the crisis

The AMTC (Association of Canarian Tourism Boroughs ) calls for the economic aid, co-ordination with other administrations to tackle public health measures

4 september 2020

The AMTC (Association of Canarian Tourism Boroughs) has demanded “concrete decisions and measures”, health related and other, to help bodies confront the current situation brought about as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.  “We need implementation of the measures”, said the association president and Adeje mayor, José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga, following a meeting of the association board in Santa Cruz yesterday (Thursday Sept 3rd).

“We have heard much said from one side and from another and some things have been well done, but the primary objective at the moment is to halt the advance of the infections caused by Covid-19 and reverse the situation”.  There is little point, he said, in going ahead with other plans, if the rate of infections continues to grow.
The head of the AMTC said what was needed was to implement concrete plans that include economic help and coordination with other administrations to be able to head off the crisis and use public health measures to begin to reduce the level of contagion.  “We need to access the information about infections to activate the resources needed to meet the actual situation”.
There was an extensive call for details, and for information on the economic measures announced by the regional and national government to be used to reactivate the sector and the economic activity in general.  “Not just for the large tourism companies, of course, but the entire business fabric of the sector”, insisted Rodríguez Fraga.  “The sector isn’t in intensive care, but almost on the palliative ward”, he said. 
“We have made plans, but we haven’t been able to solidify them as time is passing and we still don’t know exactly what resources we have at our disposal.  We don’t know what is to come, and what we do need is for the regional government to take the reins and lead from the front with strength and clarity”.  
The AMTC board said the regional government could “count on the tourism boroughs, which represent a fundamental part of the sector which isn’t simply about the big companies”.  He said that “we are boroughs and we are tourist boroughs which is why we share our problems and the needs of all”.
The AMTC president said he has a negative view of the perception that the councils hadn’t taken relevant measures against the health crisis.  “We worked hard, both in taking fiscal decisions and in increasing the kind of services we needed to confront the crisis”. 
Rodríguez Fraga continued, “we need to reactivate the reformation projects for some of our hotels and the public works that are an important part of the recovery of jobs and wealth creation”. He said they had also been left somewhat flabbergasted as “ we had received requests from the ministry for tourism for plans and projects and now they are telling us there is only €4 million for all the tourism boroughs, without even confirming whether that is for 2020 or 2021!”
The AMTC vice president, the mayor of Mogán, Onalia Bueno, said what was missing were firm decisions from the regional government against the expansion of the virus.  “We need to be more forceful in confronting something that affects the Canaries as much as Madrid”.  She also urged the regional government to show they were capable of leading, “ahead of Madrid”.  She said we needed a real plan for the Canaries if the winter season was to be saved
Having seen the figures of those on the unemployment register during the month of August the vice president said that the tourism boroughs had “changed from being the economic motor of the islands to the poor of the islands” and that no-body was telling us how we might get out of this situation.  “Yes, it was overwhelming but now enough time had passed to be able to take concrete and agreed measures”.