Cruise ships, sports/recreational sailing and lighthouses complete the range of services offered by general interest ports
Spanish ports increase their range of tourist services
22-01-2020 (Ministry of Transportation, Mobility and Urban Agenda). The Spanish port system, consisting of 46 general interest ports managed by 28 Port Authorities and coordinated by Puertos del Estado, will be present at the FITUR tourism fair, presenting a broad range of services and facilities for cruise tourists, sports/recreational sailing and the accommodation services offered by "Faros de España".
Cruise tourism continues on the rise year after year, and is one of the main attractions of general interest ports; along with the Local Administration, Regions and private sector initiatives, Spain is now positioned as one of the world's countries receiving the most cruise ship travelers. Thus, the record achieved in 2018, with more than 10.1 million cruise ship travelers and 4,360 cruise ships, is highly likely to be surpassed in 2019, given that data at the end of November indicated a 4.5% increase, i.e. exceeding 10.5 million cruise ship travelers in 2019.
It is worth noting here that Spain, specifically the port of Málaga, will be hosting Europe's cruise travel sector event, Seatrade Cruise Med 2020, to be held between 15-17 September, which will gather the world's leading operators in the sector as well as the main destination points worldwide, shipbuilders, equipment and technology, engineering, travel agencies, product suppliers…
With respect to sports/recreational sailing, it should be recalled that Spain's 28 Port Authorities offer nearly 30,000 slips, 1/3 of all those existing in Spain. Furthermore, general interest ports concentrate half of the 27 facilities in the so-called "megayacht" sector, i.e. long recreational sailboats. This sector has become very important for Spain's tourism, given that it contributed approximately 0.7% of its GDP and more than 110,000 jobs; based on the data submitted by the Spanish Association of Nautical Enterprises, registration of this type of boat has grown more than 9.6% in 2019, resulting in 6,080 licensed boats this past year.
Finally, the "Faros de España" project, an initiative that seeks to enhance and give accommodation use to the lighthouse network along the Spanish coast (187 lighthouses) allows visitors to stay at accessible facilities. At present, there are already two lighthouses refurbished for accommodation purposes (Punta Cumplida in the island of La Palma and Isla Pancha in Ribadeo); Faro de Corrubedo in Ribeira is currently undergoing renovation works; and Faro de Punta Insúa, located at this point, in between the Corcubión and Muros-Noya estuaries, is currently completing the necessary administrative steps for its use as a hotel.
Photo: Punta Cumplida lighthouse, La Palma Island