The regional government announces the implementation of the Tourism Sustainability Plan in the Sierra Espuña regional park. Thus, it plans to carry out 26 projects, totaling an investment of 2,750,000 euros, of which 1,100,000 will be contributed by the Autonomous Community and the State administration, and the rest by the Sierra Espuña Tourist Services Association.
In addition to the economic injection, its execution constitutes “a change of model for inland tourism and it will turn this natural setting into one of the main smart and sustainable destinations ”. To this end, the plan aims to develop new products aimed at conserving the natural, historical and cultural heritage of the area through the revaluation of its resources.
It also contemplates expanding the digitization, information, promotion and commercialization of the destination; improve communication infrastructures; strengthen collaborative governance; and increase the quality, sustainability, competitiveness and territorial identity of the entire tourism value chain. The Tourism Sustainability Plan ‘Territorio Sierra Espuña’ was prepared by the Commonwealth of Sierra Espuña, has contributions from different institutions and social participation and is a model of public-private cooperation.
The 26 planned projects are distributed in five axes, and include actions in the municipalities of Aledo, Pliego, Totana, Alhama de Murcia, Mula and Librilla. The objective is “to promote an improvement in the quality and competitiveness of the Sierra Espuña destination as a whole,” said the Minister of the Presidency, Tourism and Sports, Marcos Ortuño, who this Friday visited Sierra Espuña to deliver nine SICTED badges.
Likewise, Ortuño examined the project of one of the measures included in the Plan, the creation of the new gastro-experiences center in Pliego. «Gastronomy represents one of our main tourist attractions and with this center the tradition and the avant-garde of our cuisine will be valued, taking advantage of the products of the area ”, he explained. In general, all the programs to be carried out foresee a boost in digitization, the improvement of infrastructures, as well as marketing and promotion measures.
New model for inland tourism
“We intend to promote sustainability, innovation, technology, accessibility and governance capacity, as well as create attractive and profitable tourist facilities and services to diversify the offer, generate employment and combat depopulation”, said Ortuño, who stressed that ” in short, it is about generating a change in the real model for inland tourism ».
Specifically, more than 70,000 euros to promote online marketing and promotion channels for tourist products and services in Sierra Espuña. In the area of infrastructures, an investment is planned in the Argárica Route of Sierra Espuña; Mula will address actions in the Archaeological Park of Castillo de los Vélez and the beautification of its historical complex, as well as the municipality of Aledo.
For its part, Alhama de Murcia contemplates the creation of a training center for agrotourism in El Berro and Librilla will undertake an urban redevelopment of its historic streets. The rearrangement of the hiking product and the creation of a set of bio-itineraries that interpret agricultural landscapes will be other ambitious comprehensive actions, together with the digital transformation of the territory’s Tourism offices.
Covid quality and safety commitment
On the other hand, nine services and companies received the badges that certify their commitment to quality and Covid security practices. These entities, which have joined the Comprehensive System of Tourist Quality in Destinations (SICTED) through the Sierra Espuña Tourist Services Association, are: Sierra Espuña Regional Park (category of protected natural spaces); Sierra Espuña campsite (campsites); Hospice Bajo el Cejo (rural accommodation); Los Baños de Alhama de Murcia Archaeological Museum (museums and centers of tourist interest that can be visited); Ricardo Torel Pedrero taxi (taxis); Carolina Gutiérrez Martínez (tourist guides); and the tourist offices of Alhama de Murcia, Mula and Totana (tourist information offices).
The Integral System of Tourist Quality in Destinations is a project to improve the quality of tourist destinations and certifies compliance with the requirements. The Minister of the Presidency, Tourism and Sports explained that “quality is measured by effort and work and in the case of the Murcia Region it is more than significant, since we have gone from seven SICTED destinations recognized in 2019 to 24 today, placing us as the fourth in the national classification, only surpassed by Andalusia, the Valencian Community and the Basque Country ».