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New ways for our economy: the agri-food sector, the nautical sector and a different tourist model

May 24 from 2020 - 01: 00

The economic crisis in which the coronavirus is immersing us brings to light a debate: As we can immunize us in the Marina Alta facing future crises? Medical terms are very appropriate to start this series of articles, in which we want to find the vacuna for our region, hand in hand with people active in the social, employment, business, entrepreneurship and innovation fields. We will give voice to all of them, in search of a formula that achieves diversify the economy de la Marina Alta: we have an excellent hospitality and tourism sector, the basis of our activity and which makes us a world leader. Now it is about finding what other legs to settle on, that complete, reinforce and make our economy resistant to any pandemic.

But before going deeply into this matter, we need to clarify the functions of the agents who have long worked for employment and economic activity. This is the case of CREAMA, mentioned many times in the media and present in numerous initiatives in our region, but do we know what role it plays?

CREAMA is not just courses: what exactly is it for

It is the body that stimulates economic activity in the Marina Alta, this means that its main function is to support employers, entrepreneurs and workers to find opportunities. It is made up of eight municipalities: Dénia, Xàbia, Benissa, Calpe, Gata de Gorgos, Teulada-Moraira, Pedreguer and Pego, together with the Alicante Provincial Council and LABORA. It started operating in 1994, and Rosario Donderis is its current manager. The person in charge explains to Dénia.com how they have worked in the turbulent moments of this quarantine.

"The first thing we did after the general stop was to enable spaces for give answers to citizens, especially to businessmen and merchants, through social networks. All staff have been teleworking since March 16 to respond to that first need of people. They published each BOE (State official newsletter), with interpretations and summaries to make them understandable, they answered the merchants if they could have open, if they could make deliveries, doubts about the ERTES ... That is to say, they helped to get out of that first great uncertainty "Donderis explains.

From the first moment, the CREAMA business area began to make visible and give value to local commerce with campaigns like The local store more on your behalf, to facilitate the supply of food and basic products to older people and groups at risk. Much work has also been done to strengthen resources will, With the virtual showcase from the AFIC network (Agency for the Promotion of Commercial Innovation), which has reported the shops with home delivery and collection at the establishment during the health alarm. The virtual showcase is also allowing the presence will from local shops and companies, as it offers the free possibility of making a microweb of your business.

In the insertion area, CREAMA has been working since the beginning of the confinement to help people find a job. There, face-to-face care was basic, but this has been converted into telephone help, video calls ... all depending on the person's resources. In addition, they hung digital content on the web so that they could continue training, acquiring new skills with workshops will.

How is the economy diversified? The opinion of the manager of CREAMA, Rosario Donderis: "In order to get out of this, cooperation and the joint work of public and private administrations are necessary, we have to carry it out among all and we must be as effective as possible."

Projects to benefit the economy of the Marina Alta

Within CREAMA, a series of projects are framed in different areas:

  • L'Observatori of the Marina Alta it is, as its name indicates, an observation center in which statistical data of the region are collected that can help in decision-making for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs.
  • Territorial Strategy of the Marina Alta It analyzes in depth the objectives, the strategic lines and what concrete actions must be carried out in each area of ​​the region, in each social area and economic sector. Its purpose is to create and promote quality and equal employment.
  • La Xarxa Agrícola It works to achieve synergies between the different agents of the agri-food sector, that is, to facilitate that the agricultural products of the region reach consumers. It is about strengthening the local food system, promoting local agriculture.
  • Punt Nàutic It focuses on ensuring that the nautical sector stands out as a source of work and wealth.
  • Passaport Marina Alta It seeks to end two deficits that mark the region's labor market: the high seasonality of employment and the lack of compensation between the coastal area and the interior.

What L'Observatori is doing: defining the strategy with data

Rosario Donderis explains the methodology that follows L'Observatori: What do we want for the region based on the reality we have? "In 2019 a line was drawn that has had to be changed because reality has changed during this crisis"Donderis says. Therefore, they have started to make a new radiography of the Marina Alta, in which L'Observatori plays an important role, which provides data to make decisions, both political and technical.

"To improve the region you have to think globally and act locally"

"L'Observatori is making an important effort because in addition to translating the data of the official indicators (INE, SEPE, LABORA ...) at the county level, a form has been sent to collect all the information in detail. In this data collection 336 companies from the Marina Alta have participated, and have obtained, for example, the number of ERTEs and people affected, the number of workers in telework or the number of solidarity actions carried out by the companies "Donderis details.

The University of Alicante endorses all these strategy works, carried out by sociologists and statistical technicians. There are two objectives that are clear:

  • Job creation and business momentum
  • Innovation and quality of employment

Right now, within the Territorial Strategy project, they are in the period of defining the strategic lines of these objectives. This in-depth and rigorous study shows that "The Marina Alta is cohesive and has detected its needs: it is about thinking globally and acting locally", says the Creama manager.

The role of La Xarxa Agrícola: creating wealth, cooperating and conserving wisdom

La Agricultural Xarxa It has been launched for sustainability, and because knowledge accumulated over generations was being lost, explains Rosario Donderis. As a way of creating wealth, just two months ago the Mercat at Xarxa, a website where producers incorporate the products they have, and thus connect with consumers, whether for home sales, for sale to supermarkets, town shops or hoteliers: "It is about stimulating the agricultural sector from demand". Agriculture is highly atomized, there is no associationism, so before creating the virtual network, La Xarxa Agrícola has worked hard on creating physical contact networks and creating cooperation ties.

Exploring the enormous potential of the nautical sector: Punt Nàutic

Donderis places special emphasis on making visible what the sea next to us can offer us: Punt Nàutic is working for deseasonalize the practice of nautical and to cover the enormous needs of skilled labor that there is in this sector. Punt Nàutic is in contact with all the agents of the maritime-fishing sector, brotherhoods, nautical clubs, sports marinas and shipyards in all municipalities. It is about making visible the great potential that this sector can bring to the region, and rethink training of the large amount of labor that it needs: at the moment, this training is provided far from our territory and it is expensive. For this reason, Punt Nàutic works with the institutes to implement nautical learning in our municipalities.

Enrich the tourism model and improve the seasonality of employment: Passaport Marina Alta

As explained in an internal document of the project, the current model of sun and beach tourism, very located in the coastal area of ​​the region, needs to be strengthened and enriched by other types of complementary tourism that serve to expand and improve the range of services offered to the visitor, and thus contribute, both to the seasonally adjusted labor market, as to the creation of new jobs. Also, the goal is build a tourist model that helps territorial cohesion and the revitalization of the entire region, managing to connect the coastal areas with the intermediate and inland areas (two thirds of our region have little visibility).

For this reason, Passaport Marina Alta aims to "draw" thematic maps of products and services for the entire region, so that the tourist knows all the heritage: gastronomic routes, flora and fauna, historical, cycling, wine, active tourism ...). Sun and beach tourism is already in a very mature stage of its life cycle and has little room for growth. In this way, what is attempted is both to generate a greater margin to continue growing and to alleviate seasonality.

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