The Ministry of Tourism for Andalucía has introduced the new General Plan for the Sustainable Tourism of Andalucía META 2027 (META 2027 Plan), designed to reform the region’s tourism strategy and create a framework for the future of its tourism activity. The META 2027 Plan looks to incorporate sustainability goals set out by the United Nations as well as socioeconomic goals at a regional level.
In preparation of the META 2027 Plan, Andalucía created a participation strategy which invited 300 people from different areas of the industry, including entrepreneurs, business owners, public sector workers, academics, and tourism board members, to comment on its strengths and weaknesses, key problems facing the industry, and establish a series of milestones that reflect its success. This participation strategy, combined with detailed analysis of the main macroeconomic and statistical tourist data, became the building blocks for the final META 2027 Plan.
This final version outlines the vision of the strategy which includes the promotion of sustainable tourism, protection of touristic resources, promotion of tourism as an instrument of communication and knowledge between cultures, stimulation of trade within the industry, and improving the competitiveness of the sector, among others.
Competitiveness and embracing trends
The competitiveness of Andalucía as a tourism destination is a huge focus within the strategy seeking to integrate both local resources and social sustainability to generate added value while helping to maintain advantageous positions in core international markets. Analysis shows that Andalucía’s most competitive factors are its cultural and social environment, the quality of the accommodation proposition and its gastronomy. As part of the META 2027 Plan, Andalucía has set out a Model of Competitive Development which will see investment made into R+D, a focus on attracting new private investment opportunities, further public-private collaboration, and protection of tourism resources be that natural, cultural, or other. This Model of Competitive Development has been designed to be fluid and will embrace new and evolving trends within travel such as Food for Change, Digital Nomads, Bleisure, and Transformational Travel to name a few.
The META 2027 Plan has been designed in keeping with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development of the United Nations (UN). It seeks to combine these values and establishes a correlation with some of its Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) that are of significant importance for the development of a tourist destination under sustainability parameters. Aside from the UN guidelines, the META 2027 Plan is aligned and in keeping with the Paris Climate Agreement, the European multiannual financial framework for the period 2021-2027 as well as with the Sustainable Tourism Strategy 2030 of the Government of Spain.
Under these new sustainability goals, Andalucía will gradually begin moving towards a green economy. The objective is to reach a model of territorial cohesion dedicated to balancing tourist flows and preventing tourism concentration in specific areas. This includes combatting the effects of seasonal periods of high concentration and equally spreading tourism across coastal, inland and large cities of Andalucía, paying close attention to those less economically developed areas that possess resources with tourism potential. Efficiency will be prioritised, making optimal use of resources, especially renewables such as solar and wind of which Andalucía possesses ideal conditions. The META 2027 Plan will lay the foundations of a solid programme of inclusive policies that guarantee equal opportunities for all within the sector.
Tourism is a strategic and fundamental pillar of the Andalucía economy and job creation. Following the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is vital that the META Plan 2027 features a post-Covid strategy that references the guidelines set out by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) to return tourism levels to those of 2019. The META Plan 2027 sets out protocols, urgent measures and contingency plans as the threat of Covid still looms while the sector begins to recover. The goal of this post-Covid plan is to: regenerate, rehabilitate and reactivate the sector; strengthen, relaunch, and consolidate the recovery of the destination and Andalucía’s tourism brand; and improve the capacity to manage large-scale crises.
The efficacy of the META 2027 Plan will be closely monitored with annual follow-ups with the different departments involved as well as a mid-term evaluation in the final four months of 2024 to ensure that the desired results are being achieved.