A new €720 million package to help Spain’s pandemic-hit tourist sector has been approved this Tuesday by the Council of Ministers.

An extra €109 million has been allocated above last week’s previous announcement of €615 million.

Tourism Minister, Reyes Maroto, said: “These funds will allow the modernisation plan to go forward for tourism which in turn will allow the whole economy to recover and modernise.”

Tourism accounts for 12% of the country’s economy.

€565 million will fund innovative projects that seek to improve the competitiveness of the sector.

That includes ramping up digital and smart technology as well as energy efficiency in tourist-related businesses.

Money will also go to each of Spain’s 17 regions to maintain historical heritage sites and the 15 World Heritage cities in the country.

There’s also been an allocation to maintain the world-famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage walk.

Reyes Maroto said that the recovery of tourism was ‘a priority’ and that the ‘successful vaccination programme had allowed tourism recovery to become a reality’.

“For a long time we have focused on just counting visitor numbers but we now want to talk about the quality, profitability and inclusiveness of the tourism industry, “ Maroto added.

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