Promotional images of initiatives and tourism icons from different eras.
The article here on the La Voz de Almería site is the eighth in the series.
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Almeria stories about the landscape (VIII): The tourist model
A series that aspires to intervene in the perception of geographical and territorial reality
Since the days of Rodolfo Lussnigg (Hotel Simon) and his name "Costa del Sol" for tourism in Almería, things have changed a lot in the provincial tourism scene.
From the mid-nineteenth to the twenties of the twentieth, the economic export successes had generated a local bourgeoisie that, together with prominent foreign entrepreneurs, promoted a cosmopolitan and innovative project. At the end of that period the origins of tourism in the province can be located. The depressive phase after the collapse of the uvero business slowed down tourism activity. The clock in Almería stopped.
Alternatives and peripherals
The current model was forged in the equator of the Franco regime. The film shoots make Almería a destination for the troupe that accompanies these productions: the most recognizable actors and actresses, accompanied by the entire technical staff.
Travelers who appreciate the uniqueness of this incipient destination come to our land: Rafael Lorente, Juan Goytisolo or Jose Ángel Valente would lead a wide list of heterodox and alternative people who aspire to rid this “paradise” of adocenamiento.
Offer of accommodation in Andalusia.
The tourism business began, with the Aguadulce National Tourist Interest Centers (1963) and the Roquetas Urbanization (1967), the Mojácar Parador (1966) and the Almería Airport (1968) as outstanding landmarks.
The coexistence of the tourism business with real estate and the predominance of external operators lay the foundations of an almost colonial model, in which we provide the landscape, identity and workforce, while decisions, investment and the value chain they are located far from our land. A group of builders and developers, local terminals of this exogenous business, will form a business elite whose voracity has conditioned strategic decisions of our territorial model.
Overwhelmed and alienated
Since that founding moment, two tourist orientations coexist: a conventional one represented by the hotel bases of the Poniente, and another, in the Levante, more alternative, in search of the balance between the preservation of the uniqueness and the promotion of different business formulas. The Algarrobico supposes the breaking of the limits of that balance.
In the middle, the city of Almería and its surroundings are looking for their place in the tourist market, after the crisis of the shootings. In 2005, there was a hotel reactivation that was revealed to be oversized, and the intervention in El Toyo was promoted, with a hotel plant that despite its contained dimensions, contributes to the mobility and habitability crisis of the centers and beaches of Cabo de Gata.
These pieces that make up the Almeria tourist "model" share the overflow at the points of occupation, and a deep alienation: the leading role of foreign entrepreneurs, and an offer of services that is not very committed to our identity.
Recent times have witnessed a loss of vigor in traditional hotel bases (mature destinations), with a decrease in the market share of large contracts. The alternative model has a growing commercial orientation, stressing the identity of the territory that serves as its base, and generating an increasingly outsourced and imposed scenario.
In rural areas, the action of the Rural Development Groups and the Tourist Plans have generated different opportunities, with actions on supply that are not enough to correct the weakening of rural structures.
The pilgrimage to Fitur of institutional groups has a propaganda purpose for the public in their areas of origin, and effects that are too weak for positioning in the tourist market.
Tourism has great prestige in our society, for its contribution to the opening of the province to the outside. But this prestige occurs in the context of a notable perplexity, which makes critical reflection on its balance of results difficult. Those who invoke it benefit from this situation to camouflage activities that have other logics and that frequently devalue the territorial capital so necessary to sustain any quality project.