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Tourism must be seen as an opportunity, not a threat 

The Mayor of Arona, José Julián Mena has called on the State to grant touristic municipalities their own statutes and financing

He made his appeal while participating in the official presentation of the Alliance of Tourism Municipalities of Sun and Beach, which brings together the eight destinations with these most important characteristics of Spain.

The alliance has requested a specific statute for tourism municipalities in order to give services to the hundreds of thousands of tourists without affecting residents, so that tourism continues to be perceived as an opportunity and not as a threat.

The need for tourist municipalities to have a legal framework or specific status that regulates their existence and recognises their singu-larities, so that they have adequate financing in infra-structures and services, was also stressed.

Sr. Mena met with the Minister of Industry, Co-mmerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, in Madrid.

TheAlliance of Tourist Municipalities of Sun and Beach is an organisation that has a national character and that brings together a group of top-level tourist destinations that total 65 million overnight stays per year , 20 per cent of the national total. In addition to Arona, the members are Adeje, San Bartolomé de Tirajana, Salou, Calvia, Benidorm, Lloret de Mar and Torremolinos.

 In his speech, the mayor of Arona thanked “the spirit of dialogue that has been shown” in the time he has been in charge “visiting Arona and the south of Tenerife to meet their needs and demands.” He recalled that all the mu-nicipalities that are part of the alliance “share common characteristics, such as the fact that we have resources commen-surate with a me-dium-sized population, but we provide service and our infrastructures support the impact of hundreds of thou-sands of people each year.”

“In the case of Arona,” he added, “with a population that has just exceeded 100,000 inhabitants, our infrastructures and services have a load of around 1.5 million visitors a year, a situation that requires treatment and adequate financing.”

Sr. Mena explained that, due to the economic importance of these municipalities for the Spanish economy, it is necessary to have “adequate investments and resources, so that our destinations continue to be a source of wealth, be sustainable, competitive and that tourism is seen by our residents as a source of progress and opportunities, rather than as a threat.”