Arona will be attending the World Travel Market in London this week to promote the borough by focusing on its commitment to sustainable tourism, accessibility and inclusivity to showcase the municipality’s value as a destination. But the tourism chiefs attending the fair have one eye very firmly fixed on what they see as the uncertainties of the UK’s looming departure from the EU, and the potential effects of Brexit on relations with the UK and the tourists it provides the municipality each year – some 700,000 of them, half of all the tourists who holiday there.
The council will feature the Día de Las Tradiciones and the ARN Culture & Business Pride events as it prepares to promote itself in the London tourism fair as a place not just for those who want the traditional seaside holiday in the sun, but for those who are also looking for more, for culture and tradition, for example, or LGBT-friendly activities and nightlife, or wide-ranging disabled access and facilities. In addition, the council says, the borough is home to almost 8,000 British nationals, which has made them the largest foreign population for many years, though currently the second largest after Italians. These are residents, the council stresses, who not only contribute to the economy of Arona personally, but also in business initiatives since they are very active in this sector.
The WTM is the main tourist fair for the British holiday market and one of the most important in the world, and is taking place from today to Wednesday. Arona tourism councillor David Pérez is attending, and is intent not only on promoting Arona as a tourism destination, but also on deepening his understanding of the uncertainty generated by Brexit. Pérez said that “it is vitally important to know what would happen if the UK were finally to leave the EU, and if this would in turn result in Sterling weakening against the Euro”. For Pérez, the WTM is “an opportunity to strengthen relations in these times of uncertainty, and Arona will be showcasing its most representative touristic projects to promote the destination, especially its work in sustainability from economic, social and environmental perspectives”.
Arona mayor José Julián Mena has already discussed these issues with the British ambassador whom he met during HMA’s visit to Tenerife, calling it an opportunity to strengthen ties and prepare for future meetings with the business sector, and local British residents, to develop mutual working strategies.