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Almudena Maíllo, Councillor for Tourism with the Madrid City Council

“We want to develop tourism that offers unique experiences” Madrid City Council is aiming to develop value added tourism, with unique products and experiences, that can be enjoyed in the capital and adapted to any demand segment, as explained in this interview with the Councillor for Tourism, Almudena Maíllo. Among these proposals are congress, shopping, cultural and education tourism.

13 Nov 2019

How is the tourism sector performing in Madrid in 2019?

The tourism sector in the city of Madrid, as of August 2019, was positive, with a total of 6.8 million visitors (2.38% more than the same period last year) and an increase in the average stay that is at 2.17 nights, mainly thanks to the good international market performance. The strategic markets with the highest growth are China, United States and Italy.

We hope for the trend to be positive and that the uncertainty generated by Brexit and a slower rate of world economic growth will not overly influence this evolution, which will mostly affect the sun and beach destinations more than urban destinations.

In this context, how do you believe tourism will contribute to the economic development of the capital?

Tourism is an economic driving force for the city. From January to August 2019 the evolution of total expenditure by foreign visitors was quite favourable (€6,845 million), which is a 10.5% increase compared to the same period in 2018.

The increase in expenditure by international visitors is a decisive factor that contributes to the economic development of the capital, generating employment in all tourism-related sectors. Other decisive factors that will positively contribute are holding major events in the city, the increase in the accommodation capacity and the promotion campaigns for the destination.

Which tourism segments hold the highest potential in the city?

The most demanded products, and consequently with a higher potential, are culture, business, shopping and gastronomy. The main segments are travellers who have a medium-high and high purchasing power. And the inauguration of 5-star hotels, some belonging to major international hotel chains, will enable the premium traveller segments to find a wider offer in our city.

What future objectives has the City Hall established for the tourism sector?

One of the main objectives is the sustainability of the tourism model, both from an environmental and from an economic and social point of view, that will guarantee a balanced development and growth of this sector, optimising the generation of wealth, job creation and the territorial development of the city. 

To this end it is important to implement actions that will mobilise tourism flow within the city, guiding them to new lesser-known areas, that have a high potential for tourism interest.

We also want to promote the Madrid tourism sector as a tool for social dynamization and transformation, and at the same time develop actions such as improving the environmental impact of the tourism offices activity. All this without leaving behind market diversification, with special attention to Asia, the increase in average stay and the profitability of the regulated accommodation offer, and consolidate Madrid as a site of major entertainment and corporate events.

How will you promote the unique experience for visitors?

Another objective is development of value-added tourism, with unique products and experiences, that can be enjoyed in Madrid and adapted to each segment of tourism demand, such as congress tourism, shopping, culture or education tourism. To this end, the Council for Tourism of the Madrid City Hall wants to grow collaboration with the city's private sector to promote and boost the creation of new experiences, as well as to facilitate their marketing.

We are also committed to territorial cohesion and sector diversification, because tourism is based on almost all of the services sector of our city and it provides profit for other areas, and it is also a source of income for sectors such as sports, health and beauty, training, etc.