At the Congress for Tourism, Landscape and Sustainability, “Invasion or Resource?”, organized by the Deputy Minister for the Environment, in the Canary Island government; Victoria Lopez, President of Grupo Fedola and General Manager of GF Hotels, defended the current development in the tourism industry.
López made the comparison with the effective flight of geese, as a way to seek efficiency and claim unity in the tourism sector.
At a table, where the future model of tourism development was discussed, Victoria Lopez stated that tourism has been positioned as the activity which will lead the implementation of sustainability in the economy but added that real transformation will only succeed if there is unity in the entire sector. To continue, the President of Grupo Fedola took advantage of the table to use a graphic example of teamwork, the flight of geese, in the formation of a “V”; a form of flight which has been shown to increase up to 70% the power of the flock, “I ask the entire tourism sector to fly in V formation, with everyone pushing in the same direction” added Lopez.
Among the topics of discussion, she highlighted the importance of improving mobility on the islands. Victoria Lopez, as Vice President of Ashotel, the Hotel and Extra-hotel Association of the province of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, reminded everyone that the hotel sector is cooperating with the Tenerife Cabildo to find solutions to some of the main problems on this island destination. Working for sustainability means we also need to “look for transport systems that help us remove cars from the roads”.
The agricultural sector as an ally
Likewise, Victoria López defended local agriculture, “we cannot conceive of a tourism sector without a strong primary sector, but we lack specialization.” On sustainability, López highlighted the importance of each family at home, “it all starts in the home, in children, in schools … it´s at home, where we have to learn to be totally sustainable, because hotels are already prepared. In the south there are hotels with 90% of renewable energy consumption, but outside in the resorts, tourists find halogen streetlights, a lack of garbage containers and no separated bins, neglected gardens, … “.
Accompanying Victoria López in the debate were other professionals from the sector, architects, economists and experts in the territory. A round-table, held in La Laguna, ended a congress which was promoted by the Government of the Canary Islands, to analyse the relevance of the tourism industry as an activity which transforms the landscape and the social development of the Archipelago.