LAS PALMAS DE GRAN CANARIA – The dilapidated commercial centres in the south of Gran Canaria are a thorn in the side of the island government. They would be ‘negative points’ for tourism. The extent to which owners can be forced to reform is now being investigated.
Tourism Minister Álamo is preparing a legal report outlining the options available to the Canary Government to demand reforms from the owners of the commercial centres. One of the shopping centres that Álamo refers to is ‘Metro’. This is already in an advanced state of disrepair and must be demolished. Two others are ‘Plaza’ and ‘Kasbah’, all three located in Playa del Inglés (Maspalomas). Furthermore, the centres are all located in the same area. Moreover, they mainly offers nighttime entertainment and it is where many incidents also take place.
Another example is ‘Anexo II’ also in Playa del Ingles: “Those establishments are outdated. Not only do they no longer generate prosperity, but they also weigh on our tourist destination […] in some cases they will have to disappear. It doesn’t matter if they are there. They are in a dilapidated state,” Álamo confirmed during an interview with Atlantico Hoy.
“That report is going to say whether we should build a new shopping centre, change its use, or give it a facelift. Or if they just don’t fit where they are now. To be competitive, you need to know how to properly distribute the commercial offer,” explains Álamo. He refers to the legal inquiry that he hopes to receive in October. This will look at the state of the shopping centres and the powers of the regional government to change the offer of leisure and commerce in the area.
Affected entrepreneurs ask for help
The Federation of Hospitality and Tourism Entrepreneurs of Las Palmas (FEHT), which includes the affected leisure centres, has been demanding for years the amendment of the law on the renovation and modernisation of tourism in the Canary Islands (LRMTC). With this, they want to ensure that the sector itself receives incentives for the renewal of their establishments. And “in this way to make investments more attractive for entrepreneurs in the centres”.