Today World Tourism Day is celebrated and the sector in the Islands is not at its best. The bankruptcy ofThomas Cookhas removed the pillars of a model that until now offered large numbers but has demonstrated theneed for change and "diversification", as explained this morning by the Minister of Tourism,Yaiza Castilla, in the delivery ofCanary Islands Tourism Awards 2019. "We are in a day of celebration, but also of reflection of the Canary tourism model," he said.
As every year theCanary Governmentand theMinistry of Tourism, Industry and Commercehave wanted to recognize thework of people and companies that contribute "exceptionally" to the tourism of the Islands.
The Canary Islands Award for the International Projection of the Canary Islands has been awarded toTUI Group, a tour operator that has been working in the Islands for more than 50 years and that this year has moved more than 2.3 million tourists to the Archipelago, which represents 15% of the total. "TUI is part of tourism in the Canary Islands and the Islands are part of the history of TUI," said Linda Phelphs, director of the group in the Archipelago and responsible for collecting the award.
Phelphs regretted the situation ofThomas Cook, especially the position of the clients and employees of the tour operator, which raised the applause of the audience. The TUI director acknowledged that theIslands are "very important for the group's strategy"and said that the operator remains strong in the sector, "our plan to continue growing in the Canary Islands," he acknowledged.
When asked about the assignment of packagesThomas Cookthe director did not want to pronounce herself and assured that it is "soon to say something". They, meanwhile, remain focused on their customers and their strategy focused on "hotels, cruises and experiences in destinations." The group has more than 34 hotels in the Islands, visits six Canarian ports and makes more than 300 stops per year. They are leaders in the German market and bring more than one million tourists from the United Kingdom.
Phelphs was very positive in terms of the figures they expect for next year, "in the Canary Islands there are three of the five most successful destinations in winter," said the director who said that Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Tenerife "will maintain great results" .
Angel Victor Torres, president of the Canarian Executive did not want to miss the awards ceremony, which also coincided with a day in which mobilizations are expected throughout Europe in favor of the environment. "We link tourism to sustainability and the environment and we will be doing things well," said Torres, who also said that at the same time that the awards ceremony was taking place the Council of Ministers in Madrid where "issues would be addressed" of the Canary Islands with respect to tourism ".
The Canary Islands Tourism Award for Excellence has been awarded to Pablo Barbero Sierra, a well-known entrepreneur of the sectorHe has spent many years improving the industry in the Islands, achieving, among other things, repositioning Las Palmas de Gran Canaria as a great urban tourist destination.
In the professional career of Barbero highlights his leadership as president of the Hotel Association of the Federation of Hospitality and Tourism Entrepreneurs of Las Palmas. In addition, he directed the emblematic Hotel Santa Catalina de Gran Canaria for many years and was part of the College of Tourist Professionals. Finally, he was Councilor for Tourism in the City of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
The winner could not attend the event so the prize was collected by his two daughters, Beatriz and Paula Barbero, who thanked his father for teaching them that "with effort everything is achieved."