These are not good times for the tourism sector in the Islands. The pandemic stopped it dead two years ago, and when the recovery was beginning to emerge, the war in Ukraine threatens that timid comeback.
In such a complex scenario, the Santa Cruz City Council announced yesterday its intention to inject some 44 million into the capital’s tourism sector over the next six years, an investment that aims to return to the path that the city had marked out before the COVID, being the tourist capital of a tourist island. This is how the mayor, José Manuel Bermúdez, advanced it yesterday, after the meeting held with the hotel management, Ashotel, with which he addressed the different lines in which those 44 million will be invested that come from different sources of financing.
Infrastructures, rehabilitation of historical heritage, tourism promotion or commercial and cultural revitalization in the streets of the city are just some of those axes that are defined in a Strategic Tourism Plan for Santa Cruz until 2026. The mayor stressed that, “as a result of many meetings with the sector and with the economic and social agents involved, we have outlined the objectives on which to design various lines of work to promote the recovery of the tourism sector in the capital from the administration”.
For his part, the president of Ashotel, Jorge Marichal, explained that “the mayor, who knows the sector very well, is clear that the investments of the municipal administration to relaunch tourism in this capital must take place across the board,” referring to to the promotion of works and infrastructures, in sectors such as culture or sports, tourism promotion, “but also in the generation of synergies that must be produced with the Port of Santa Cruz and in the promotion of festivals such as Carnival”.
The Strategic Tourism Plan goes through the implementation in turn of four other plans, with their respective lines of investment. Thus, a first axis will be that of tourism sustainability, for which there are already five million from the Next Generation funds of the European Union and with which it is intended to reconvert the chicharrero coastline in the next three years, with works such as that of the Las Teresitas northwest breakwater dam or the bike lane, but also to develop mobility studies for those areas of Santa Cruz. In this axis, it will also invest in the improvement of the tourist offices of the capital, which will mean 895,000 euros, as well as an enhancement of the Carnival.
The latter will have a budget of 195,000 euros for the improvement and expansion of the Carnival Poster Walk and the creation of a self-guided tourist route for the Santa Cruz Carnival. Signage and products and tourist promotion complete this section, with just over one million euros.
A second axis will be the implementation of a tourism shock plan to be developed between March and November of this year, which will be aimed at promoting tourism in the capital both within the Archipelago and outside it, which will mean investing more than 350,000 euros in marketing , promotion and marketing of the destination.
The third axis of the Strategic Plan is the creation of products, which includes everything related to the recovery of historical heritage and its use, for which there are around 30 million euros. Viera y Clavijo, Masonic Temple or Castillo de San Andrés, are some of the works collected at this point.
The last of the axes is related to the municipal reactivation, which will have nine million euros. In this way, specific actions to be carried out in the street will be added to the budget of the Culture area, such as Full Moon, Come to Santa Cruz, Black Friday, concerts, sporting events or events aimed at the youngest.
According to the City Council, this reactivation plan will be “the most ambitious in Santa Cruz and the largest in the open air in the Canary Islands.”