The Adeje Tourism board met yesterday (Sept 10 2020) to discuss the current situation and outline objectives in combating the current crisis.
There has been a drop of €27 million in local taxes due to the freezing of payments and reductions in certain tariffs
Sector representatives expressed their preoccupation at the economic damage and asked for extra public support to overcome the current crisis
Adeje has registered a drop of €27 million this year as a result of the suspension of certain local tax payments, measures taken to combat the crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The council has also reduced / repaid certain taxes, such as rubbish, to those businesses who had to
close during the state of emergency, or other charges such as for the use
of public spaces along Costa Adeje. The council have also repaid fees paid
in advance for sporting and cultural activities which haven’t been able to
go ahead, and there will be a reduction in rates and taxes on construction
and works to be announced.
These measures were detailed at today’s Tourism board meeting, with council and sector representatives coming together. Taking part with the mayor, were Adeje councillors for Tourism, Adolfo Alonso, for good governance, Epifanio Díaz; for social and community welfare, Mercedes Vargas, and for economic development, Manuel Luis Méndez, along with relevant departmental heads. Sector representatives from the hoteliers were present, from Ashotel, the provincial body representing the industry, CEST, the circle of South Tenerife businesses, CIT, the centre for tourism initiatives, and representatives from tour operators, the taxi industry, restaurant and leisure companies, etc.
The meeting began with a round of applause for Jesús Oramas, the director of the H10 Costa Adeje hotel, where the first Tenerife-based tourist with Covid-19 was diagnosed, with members thanking him for the management of the outbreak at that time. The meeting also paid special tribute to all health workers, victims of the pandemic and all those affected by the current crisis.
While the main focus of the board meeting was to create a forum for debate and discussion (to assist in taking decisions to combat the Covid-1
9 crisis) the borough representatives outlined to the meeting the series of
economic measures they are taking regarding reductions in local taxes,
which has led to a massive drop in local revenue garnered. The council
have worked specifically in emergency social assistance, projects for
employment, measures to reactivate the local economy and direct assistance for small and medium enterprises and the self-employed. Local financing has also gone on extra municipal cleaning and disinfection services in the borough’s public spaces as well as on safety and information services. The meeting also heard of the importance of maintaining at all times an open (online) service for the public to the citizens offices and information.
Those present spoke in detail about the economic repercussions caused by the lack of tourists to the island. The mayor insisted that the solution
has to be found together and as part of an overall strategy, because “it is
a health crisis which has huge economic consequences and until we resolve the health problem we won’t resolve the other adjacent problems”, specifically referring to the need to reduce the contagion numbers as the best way to encourage other countries to send tourists to the island, to have “Confidence in the destination and allow their people to travel here as normal”. He added that “those visitors would have to act responsibly and follow local health measures”.
Regarding reopening travel the hotel sector repeated their call for a PCR
test for tourists upon arrival here, and on return as a measure to help
generate confidence. They also stressed the importance of more promotion internationally of the island and the diffusion of information that would generate confidence that this is a safe place to visit.
The councillors outlined other measures that have been taken in Adeje and explained that they have allocated €2 million in direct aid to small and medium businesses and the self-employed , working to avoid the destruction of jobs and improve the financial viability of existing companies, as well as investing in the creation of new jobs in the borough. The council have also employed 7 new home-help workers, increased by 24% aid to families in need, spent money to bridge the digital gap between different families (important in the field of education) with internet connections and equipment, help for the elderly and young people with no qualifications, and investment in the cultural sector (also an employer) which is also suffering badly at the moment.
The mayor said the work of local administrations was hugely important in strengthening public services, and in meeting the needs of both individuals and businesses, “with a guarantee of safety and security in a balanced manner”.
The business representatives at the meeting, outlining their situation, did
request further assistance in fiscal reductions from the council, as “an
urgent matter if we are to move forward”. In reply the council outlined a
reduction in local rates which would be applied as well as in the ICEO –
the taxes applied to construction and works.
The need to improve and increase the promotion of a positive image for
Costa Adeje was also discussed, and to that end invited guest David Pérez
addressed the meeting. Pérez is the director of the Tenerife tourism board, and explained that in general promotions were dealt with through his office and outlined the actions that are currently being designed and launched.
The Adeje mayor remarked that is was important to remember that “it is not just the bigger companies that are suffering as a result of this crisis”,
the whole economic fabric is suffering, many who are finding it impossible to manage on a day-to-day basis. “Public bodies are here to give them a voice too, and a presence, and assistance, not just to those to the forefront”.
The board asked for unity from public bodies and politicians in general and for more fiscal assistance. Roberto Ucelay, president of CEST, spoke of
the need to examine the introduction of PCR tests, Roberto Konrad and
Carmen Batista referred to the need to encourage talks about travel
corridors. According to José Barreiro, up to 50% of potential winter
tourists have still to make up their mind as to whether they will travel
this year or not, and it was vital to help them decide to do so.
To end the mayor reminded the meeting that Adeje was fighting this crisis on three fronts: guaranteeing essential important services that the local resident population needs; on the financial front, “as we continue to look for, and take, measures that are needed; and working in tandem with other public administrations and social and financial bodies for the benefit of the borough”.