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Island leaders in tourism rallying call 

 

Lanzarote has sent out a major rallying call in defence of its environment and future tourism.

Leading politicians, including president of the Government of the Canary Islands, Paulino Rivero, were present to award the island’s 2013 Tourism Awards to various parties, including tour operator Thalasso.

Sr. Rivero stressed the importance of tourism to the island and praised all those who were reversing the downward trend of domestic visitors and increasing international numbers. Tourism, he said, was the engine of progress and helped to create jobs but was often undervalued. Referring to Repsol’s plans to drill for oil, he said the interests of multinationals should not over-shadow those of the Canary Islands and these plans should be resisted at all costs.

In early October, he said, there would be meetings with new emerging markets such as Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Switzerland, Russia and the Czech Republic.

President of the Cabildo, Pedro San Ginés also congratulated the winners and echoed the concerns about oil drilling, saying Lanzarote had to mount an international campaign to resist the work.

He was also critical about the lack of investment for port infrastructures and the renewal of accommodation and public spaces.