Yesterday, the auditorium of the Building of the Doctoral School and the Social Council hosted the first day of the XXV edition of the Universitat Jaume I International Tourism Conferencea forum for debate and knowledge where experts, both from the public and private sectors, have highlighted the need to give prestige to tourism-related work in order to improve social recognition and support the future of the sector in Spain and, specifically, in the province of Castellón.
“It feels like a second-rate profession,” he said. James Llorens, vice-dean of the Faculty of Law and Economics and professor of the bachelor’s degree in tourism at UJI. Llorens moderated the debate in the second panel of experts of the day, who responded to the title Training and qualifications. Social recognition.
They participated Christopher CasanuevaSecretary of the Spanish Conference of Deans of Tourism; Jose Vicente Pallares, from the Hotel School of Castellón; Yes Javier Solsona, head of the innovation and training division at Turisme. They all agreed on the need to adapt the training to the demands and needs of the company, as far as possible, and each of its field of study. Casanueva argued that tourism degrees will gain in specialization, adapting their offer to the peculiarities of each geographical area. Pallarés explained how they adjust the agendas in constant contact with businessmen, whom he also urged to do their part regarding the dignity of jobs in the sector. “Companies should be profitable by managing the business, not by managing human resources,” he said, referring to working conditions.
Just before, the panel had been developed from the point of view of the business community, with Luis Martivice-president of Asotur, moderating a debate entitled Retaining and promoting talent as a key to guarantee and profitability. They participated Jose Luis Yzuelpresident of Hospitality of Spain; Joan MolasPresident of the Spanish Tourist Board; Immaculate by Benedict, Director of the CEOE Tourism Board; Yes Blanca MarinGeneral Manager of Castellón Airport.
The speakers underlined the weight of tourism in the GDP (20% of the total of the Valencian Community) and the capacity of the sector to overcome the crisis. Yzuel explained that in 20 years the hospitality industry has doubled the number of jobs in Spain – from 900,000 to 1.8 million currently – and stressed the need to “do the missing homework” to “give prestige to the profession”, in reference, for example, to the dining room in restaurants and to the work of a waiter. “Tourism will develop yes or yes and we have to do things right. We have to ask them to respect us, but we also respect the agreements with our models and try to professionalize the management,” he added.
The UJI will create a specialized research institute
The opening ceremony took place in the presence of the rector of the UJI, Eva Alcon; the regional tourism secretariat, Francois Colomer; and the president of the Diputación de Castellón, Jose Marti, among other university authorities. Alcón announced that the UJI will take a new step in promoting research in tourism and create a specialized research institute which “will generate new synergies and expand cooperation between the UJI, administrations and tourist agents”.
Color, for his part, stressed that “it is time to rethink the tourist model that we want to build and to place ourselves at the forefront of the changes”. “We all have rights and duties in the tourism chain and what we can do for tourism is to choose destinations that can demonstrate that they have done their homework,” he added.
Martin He highlighted “the great tourist potential of the province, not only on the coast, but also inland”, and referred to tourism and gastronomic experiences, “two areas in which the province is particularly prepared”. . Next, Javier Gomez Navarrepresident of the MBD Group, offered the inaugural conference, with a review of the evolution of the tourism sector in Spain.
57% of the airport’s economic impact affects tourism
Blanca Marin, General Manager of Castellón Airport, unveiled at the event a preview of a study on the economic impact of the facility. Marín pointed out that 57% of the airport’s economic impact affects provincial tourism. More specifically, the figure expected this year is 23 million euros in tourism, which means a 30% increase compared to 2019, the year before the covid pandemic. Marín also highlighted the “growing trend” of Castellón airport, “gateway to tourism”, and a key lever for improvement, both in its internationalization and in its seasonal adjustment.
Luis Marti, vice-president of Asotur, defended the strength of the sector despite the recent pandemic and the current energy crisis. “Tourism in the province of Castellón is alive, developing and has a future, with enormous assets. The Mediterranean lifestyle must be our iconsaid Martí.