On March 8th Les Roches Marbella International School of Hotel Management hosted BBVA’s presentation of their annual report titled “Current Situation and Forecast of the World Economy, Spain and the Tourist Sector.” The event gathered over 200 participants and was presided by Dr. María Teresa Gozalo, CEO of Les Roches Marbella; Ángeles Muñoz, Mayor of the city of Marbella; Juan José González, President of CIT Marbella; Luis Llorens, BBVA Regional Director of Enterprise; and Miguel Cardoso, Chief Economist of BBVA Research (Spain.) This is the first time the report has ever been presented outside of Madrid and BBVA chose Les Roches Marbella as the venue due to its prominent reputation for delivering quality hospitality management education.
According to the report, Spain received over 83 million tourists in 2012, representing a decrease of 2.6% over 2011. A similar trend was registered for the Andalusia region, where Marbella is located, with 14 million tourists visiting last year. However, the overall results for the “Costa del Sol” were positive and held their ground while even showing growth of +0.2% in 2012, thanks to the arrival of over 4 million visitors. On a national level, the coastal and island regions fared better than interior destinations with the Balearic and Canary Islands, Catalonia, and the Costa del Sol continuing to be the most preferred tourist destinations in the country.
Commenting on the findings of the report, Maria Teresa Gozalo said that “We have to be mindful of the fact that we are not only educating future leaders, but leaders of an industry that has become an important source of growth and employment. Furthermore, economic trends show that the tourism and hospitality industry growth rates are above the average of those in other productive sectors”.
Another notable finding in the report revealed that the tourism sector still faces several challenges associated with a competitive environment and there is a pressing need to open the sector to the global economy and emerging markets in order to recover the positive growth trends of previous years.
“We know the industry has a great deal of potential to generate good jobs and we need to leverage this situation. To excel and help the hospitality industry meet its potential, professionals will need to demonstrate innovation, high quality service-oriented skills, and a capacity to adapt to a changing economic environment that demands a global approach. Students who master these requirements will find a promising career in the hospitality industry and achieve success in the future”, concluded Gozalo.
For a more detailed analysis on the current situation of tourism in Spain, please read Dr. Gozalo’s blog article “Educating Hospitality Management Professionals in a New Era of the Spanish Tourism Industry“.