The recent Orihuela Plenary (Monthly meeting of the full City Council) held on 29 December, approved the protocols to be adopted by the Tourism Sector during 2017.

One of the main constituents of the new guidelines is the composition of the steering group which is chaired by the Mayor of Orihuela.

Of the 30 or so members of the congress all but 2 would appear to be Orihuela City based, the exceptions being representatives of La Zenia Boulevard and local golf courses.  They include the Presidents of the Moors and Christians Association, the Cofradias, Orihuela Merchants Association, the Rector of the Miguel Hernández University, a representative of the Miguel Hernández Foundation and many other such superior bodies.  

Despite the objectives clearly stating that there should be the social participation of both the people and the associations related to the tourism the council once again seems to have forgotten the many thousands of people living and working on the coast, the many bars, restaurants and other companies and organisations that heavily rely on tourism for their livelihood.

As a result of the omissions the FAOC (Federación de Asociaciones de Orihuela Costa) has approached the councillor for tourism, Sofia Alvarez, asking for an explanation of why they, and other representatives of coastal organisations, have not been invited to join the forum in order to channel their proposals and ideas.

Spokesman Tomas Moreno said “In art. 6 of the approved regulation, which deals with the composition, we do not see the participation of neighborhood associations, nor federations like the FAOC, which integrates most of the associative fabric of the Orihuela Costa. Let us not forget that tourism Acts as an engine for an important part of the economic activity of the municipality. We are astounded that there is no representative of the residents of Orihuela Costa, many of whom understand, far better than councillors, where the real problems lie.”