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3. State incentives for specific industries

3.2. Tourist industry

Against the backdrop of the European monetary union and economic and social convergence, and in a competitive environment characterized by the globalization of supply and demand and business internationalization, the Spanish tourist industry is seeking to continue to strengthen its leadership position based on quality.

For this purpose, the Spanish Tourism Plan Horizon 2020 was approved to define the strategy for preparing and adapting the Spanish tourist industry and attaining a balanced increase in the social and economic benefits of tourism.

In the context of this Plan, calls for aid applications were published for number of programs, such as (i) “Emprendetur Jóvenes Emprendedores” (Emprendetur Young Entrepreneurs) targeted at individuals of less than 40 years of age or new SMEs whose shareholders are, on the average, less than 40 years of age (regulated by Order IET/2482/2012); (ii) “Emprendetur I+D+ì” (Emprendetur R&D&I Program), aimed at fostering business projects and models that enhance the innovative potential and competitiveness of enterprises in the tourist industry (regulated by Order IET/2481/2012); and (iii) “Emprendetur Internacionalización” (Emprendetur Internationalization), aimed at fostering the opening of new international tourist markets, or increasing those already existing, as well as exports to third countries of Spanish tourist products and services (regulated by Order IET/2200/2014).

In all three cases, the aid took the form of loans, the maximum limit on the aid being €1,000,000 or the company’s net worth figure at the time of application. The loans granted had a maximum term of 5 years, including a 2-year grace period, and were subject to a reduced interest rate, set in each call.

The last call for aid applications under Emprendetur Jóvenes Emprendedores and Emprendetur Internacionalización were published in 2015, while that related to Emprendetur I+D+I came to an end in 2017.

The Sustainable Tourism Strategy for Spain 2030 is currently being processed, its main objective being to redefine the tourist development model so as to redirect the foundation of Spanish tourism toward a model of sustained and sustainable growth, enabling Spain to maintain its global leadership position.

In particular, this new tourism model is based on enhancing competitive capacity and profitability, protecting the natural and cultural values of the different tourist destinations and on the equitable distribution of the benefits and burdens of the tourism activity.

To this end, the Sustainable Tourism Strategy for Spain 2030 is instrumented around 5 strategic areas: (i) collaborative governance, setting up participation areas for all public and private actors on the tourism stage, also increasing Spanish influence on international organizations; (ii) sustainable growth, aiming to boost a balanced development of the industry throughout Spain, to foster the industry’s sustainability, to diversify demand and to reduce the negative externalities of tourism; (iii) competitive transformation of the industry, emphasizing public-private forms of partnership, especially to foster digital transformation and the use of technological capacities; (iv) acting on the tourist area, enterprises and persons, protecting heritage and making progress on the construction of infrastructures and on the digitalization of all territories, while enhancing the quality and competitiveness of enterprises in the tourist industry (most of which are SMEs) and of jobs in tourism; and (v) working on the tourist product, marketing and intelligence, with a view to fostering quality tourism, the diversification of demand (beyond “sun and beach” tourism) and the opening of new markets.