Kevin Eagan - Mar 26, 2018
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In 2017, the Spanish economy received 172,900 million euros in tourism revenues - including direct, indirect and induced effects. This amount represent a 5.7% increase over 2016, representing 14.9% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to the annual report of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC).

The WTTC expects the total contribution of tourism to Spanish GDP to increase 2.9% this year and 2.3% annual average until 2028. The direct contribution of the sector in Spain increased by 7% last year, to 62,400 million of euros, which represents 5.4% of GDP.

The Spanish tourism board, Turespaña, has now launched a Strategic Marketing Plan 2018-2020 with the clear goal of generating tourism revenues of 1,500 million euros for quality tourism in the next three years. This new strategy incorporates important novelties and involves a change of culture and style in the way the promotion organization has been working so far. For the first time, the organization has set a quantified impact on its goals, and its new plan focuses on the customer and not on the product.

This strategy, which is the third Strategic Marketing Plan launched by Turespaña in the same line with the ones it has been developing since 2012, focuses its main objectives on profitability, sustainability and competitiveness.

Reaching the 1,500 million euros goal takes into account two main ideas: the attraction of cosmopolitan tourism, in both European and the United States markets, which will generate 1,150 million euros in tourism revenues; and the tourists from distant and less explored markets, coming as a result of the improvement in air connectivity, having an impact of 350 million euros.

According to the document that details the objectives of this plan, the market has been transformed into a market of demand, forcing to rethink the strategy of tourist marketing, which must be based exclusively on the tourist and not on the offer or the products, so personalized marketing actions will be carried out using online techniques.

The document also states that most of the western European destinations, which represent the main emitting markets of Spain, are in an advanced stage of maturity; some may even be in decline, such as Germany. Therefore, the organization’s CEO Manuel Butler, believes it is necessary to reinvent the product, that is to say, the regeneration of mature destinations and / or the application of a very segmented marketing plan and strategy.

Regarding the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union, the document states that Brexit is a key issue and it is fundamental to know how this process will affect the free movement of people, the provision of medical services, air connectivity and even the double taxation system. The dependence of Spain on British tourism is very high, since it represents 22% of the international tourism that the country receives.

 “Setting an economic impact for the strategic plan implies a decisive change in organizational culture to make Turespaña a structurally oriented organization to obtain macro results. A disruptive change that represents a significant additional and transversal effort,” as stated in the marketing plan.

Besides, it states that it requires “an intense work of re-adaptation for marketing plans and redesign of advertising campaigns and an indispensable work of training for the organization's personnel in the new strategy and orientation, as well as information and training of the agents of the tourism sector, companies and promotional entities, to align their activities towards the achievement of this new goal.”

The document highlights that this plan is based on the Public-Public Partnership (PuP), with autonomous communities and local entities, as well as the Public-Private Partnership (PPP), as evidenced by the fact that a large number of regions have incorporated the goal of increasing the share of cosmopolitan tourism.

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