Marta Rivera de la Cruz: “In Madrid, the visitor is a guest and a friend; in Catalonia, tourist phobia is encouraged by the public authorities”

Minister of Culture, Tourism and Sports

Updated

Journalist and writer, “captains” are a key area for Ayuso. Without a PP “card”, he enjoys full confidence to boost the good moment of culture in the region and overcome a tourism sector that has almost reached pre-pandemic numbers

Rivera de la Cruz, in the cultural complex El guila.BERNARDO DIAZ

Marta Rivera de la Cruz repeats as Minister of Culture, Tourism and Sports from 2021 after the earthquake caused in the regional government between Isabel Daz Ayuso and her marriage to Ciudadanos. After leaving the Orange Party, now as an independent, he managed to survive burning and maintains the favor of the president in a key position in the region.

Blessed is the National Statistical Institute, which has just published data on international tourism for the month of July. Tourist arrivals in the region have almost tripled, average spending per visitor has jumped… Will we end the crisis?
I think it’s time to do that, and it’s also necessary to turn the page. International tourism has recovered almost 100% and also considering that the Asian market is closed.
Some say that with a harsh winter ahead, we may have spent more of our savings than we should this summer. Aren’t we ringing the bells too fast?
It is true that we experience one storm after another. And we cannot ignore the fact that there is a war a few kilometers from here, that the consequences of Covid will drag on for a long time, that we are immersed in an energy crisis that will cause an economic crisis. But it is very difficult after these two years to say to people: And this summer. And maybe this year it feels like we’ve all put the house up for sale, myself included. But if we’ve learned anything, it’s that it’s very dangerous to make long-term predictions because life takes care to upend all our plans.
To what extent the Catalan independence crisis helped this Golden years from Madrid?
Barcelona doing poorly is not good for Madrid. The long-distance tourist seeks more than one destination within the same territory; and if Catalonia does not recover, instead of coming to Madrid and Barcelona, ​​it may choose Rome and Milan. I also think that Madrid has made the policy of opening up very profitable during the pandemic. It was presented to the world as an open destination, as a place where the need to continue living despite the difficulties was declared. And it was the best campaign we could do.
If we pull this summer song there is no beach herebut…
Madrid had to believe it and suddenly we did. And something that we have protected very well, and Catalonia does not, is the good reception of tourists. You must make the one who comes from outside feel that he is your guest, he is your friend, not an invader. And in the case of Barcelona, ​​this tourist phobia, which is said to exist, is encouraged by the public authorities. Tourists began to fear, the focus was on how life in the city was deteriorating…
Could Barcelona have died of success?
It is a danger that exists. I found out that a neighbor is complaining that they put seven tourist houses in his building. But this message cannot be launched by public authorities because it is contagious. An anecdote: the other day a woman who ran a souvenir shop complained to me. Ma’am, because you don’t have a hardware store, because you sell fridge magnets.
Best wishes to Barcelona then…
Let’s not start labeling a capital like Barcelona as fatal. Let’s hope he regains his figures and that spirit after 92 that was wonderful and the envy of all Spaniards.
Your Advisor is actually building some bridges.
Yes, this year in the second edition of the Festival de la Hispanidad several concerts will take place in Barcelona. And there will be a Primavera Sound edition in Madrid. There is also the commitment we made to Francesc Catal-Rocca at PHotoESPAA, which was no accident. And next year, we will dedicate a fantastic retrospective to the Catalan photojournalist Ioana Bearns at the Canal.
This tune from Madrid and Catalonia sounds like science fiction, and even more so coming from the People’s Party government. Can you give me the recipe in case anyone wants to take a note?
The question of independence is very complex and goes beyond an exhibition or two concerts that we can organize. But I think culture is probably the territory where it’s easier to establish those bridges. This is the best battlefield.
Another fire that has been kindled recently is that of the historical revision of the Spanish colonial past. With the celebration of Hispanic heritage just around the corner, how do you handle apologizing to the indigenous population? Do you agree with Pope Francis?
I cannot imagine asking forgiveness in Italy for the Romanization of Spain. Forgiveness 500 years later no longer makes sense and is an overblown debate, a noise that exists only as a political tool and not on the street. I myself have just returned from Mexico, and no one has told me of the conquest. And I must say that in this edition of Hispanidad we found cooperation only from the embassies of all countries. There was no suspicion.
A false alarm then?
Effectively. Madrid is the example. A place that became home to thousands of Latin Americans who found their home here without giving up theirs.
Another stone in his adviser’s shoe was the Spanish service. Over time, do we take stock of what has been achieved?
It went from 70 to 100 activities, like this second Festival de la Hispanidad. A very artificial row was created with the Spanish office, which was born motivated by the appointment of Tony Kant, but he was very stoic, he knew it was going to happen, so he took it in stride, worked and moved on.
From the field of culture, the Madrid City Council develops a program that shines a lot for it. a solid bite with Andrea Levy?
If there was a rivalry, obviously Madrid would always win. But I am aware that I work for 139 municipalities. And we constantly cooperate with the Municipal Council, consult with us: They have come to ask us for such a thing, so have we. will you enter Yes and how much? with seven. The four of us. Okay then with four.
She is the sole survivor of the 2019 Ayuso government primary citizens and is also in perfect harmony with her. What do you give him?
Work, which is the only thing she asked me to do. Although the good setup came from behind; I met Isabelle two years before I entered politics, we had mutual friends and we liked each other. And when things come from behind, it’s easier. But I do only what he requires of all advisers: a pick and a spade.
As an independent, are you comfortable in such an ideological party?
I share all the decisions that the government of Madrid makes in all areas. If not, I wouldn’t be here.
How are you experiencing the Citizens crisis from the sidelines now that you’re no longer a member of the party?
i already left I left a lot of people there that I love very much and I will never get into ratings. It’s like when a couple breaks up. I don’t think you should talk about your ex-husband.
Maybe it’s time to join the People’s Party…
We are in a very delicate moment. I won’t look in the rearview mirror once. I have a team that is absolutely focused on consolidating our cultural and tourism goals. And things to come will be seen in time.

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