The great sacrificed for Dénia tourism: young talent
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The great sacrificed for Dénia tourism: young talent

January 21 from 2024 - 04: 40

Dénia has sought economic support wherever she can. In fishing and maritime trade, in agriculture and raisins, in industry and toys, and for decades in tourism, where she feels comfortable. But tourism is very capricious, demanding many sacrifices from the city that wants to live off of it.

A few weeks ago, CREAMA's Marina Alta Observatory published a study in which it was revealed that our region is the second oldest in the entire province. Compared to other nearby municipalities, the case of Dénia does not seem particularly worrying in the graphs they shared. The average age is around 45 years, so the population is younger than in neighboring towns, especially in the interior.

The fact that this report inevitably went viral, and that was picked up by all the media, is that of the average age of foreign residents, much higher than that of local residents and which was tied to the general average of the municipality for age her. However, the Observatori itself, responding to questions from journalist Itsaso Aurrekoetxea for LaMarinaAlta.com, revealed another cause that is directly related to the main economic driver of the area: the flight of young talent.

The future outside of Dénia

Between keeping young people and tourism, tourism was chosen. It is unquestionable that the model has contributed wealth, distributed in that way, but it moves and generates money in Dénia. Now, it has been an all or nothing gamble and the space that entire generations are forced to look for outside has been sacrificed.

In a city where the majority of employment generated is in the service sector, what future does any other specialty have? Well, practically none. Just look at what percentage of contracts in Dénia are made to people with a university degree. According to Observatori's own data, they are only 7,29%. Among the vocational training qualifications of Intermediate Level and Higher Level there are another 7%. And what about people with only compulsory education, or less? 75,2%. Without going any further, 89,06% of the contracts in Dénia are in the services sector.

A city only for those who serve

The adaptation of Dénia to tourism for decades, abandoning investment in any other market, has caused jobs to multiply, but only in one sector. The others have been neglected and young people flee to look for a job far away "in territories with a better job future," noted the Marina Alta Observatory. Anyone who is not dedicated to tourism throws their resume away given the lack of sectoral diversity when looking for work.

Tourism as a sole goal also ages the population. If there are no opportunities in Dénia for qualified young people, if all their doors close, they leave. But it is the sacrifice that has been accepted, because even though all of this is already known, the idea is to perpetuate this model. All efforts continue to be made to maintain it, seasonally or deseasonally, as can be seen with the creation of a university headquarters focused on the sector or the approval of a General Structural Plan in which a large growth of industrial land is not foreseen, nor in it. There are plans to grow activities compatible with tertiary lands, or low-intensity industrial lands, such as technological hubs. That is, more money, yes, aging, too, and goodbye to the young talent of Dénia.

Leave a comment
  1. Alf says:

    The question to be asked is possibly another.
    What other types of alternatives have been generated to complement tourism? Which in Denia isn't that much either, that's the problem.
    Let's not forget that commerce, gastronomy/restaurants and a good part of the service companies, without this tourism, would have great problems obtaining an income statement that allows them to move forward. It is true that tourism is not the problem, the question is, what companies in the industry, technology, consultancy, etc. sectors have been created? These can generate greater stability.
    As an example of cities that are great creators of jobs and therefore of contributions that have an impact on the general interest, we can give:
    1.- «During 2022, Madrid welcomed more than 8 million visitors compared to the 7,3 million in the Catalan capital. Oct 29, 2023»
    2.- «This is Madrid, which increases its international positioning and is positioned as the third most attractive city in the world for tourism in 2023, according to an annual ranking. Dec 13, 2023»

    Therefore, it does not seem that tourism is a problem, rather a clear complement to the internal market, generating turnover and wealth. Although one cannot expect that the current problems will solve themselves, and if not, complain and blame to others.
    Training, Infrastructure and attractiveness to attract investment, that is an important issue and that would possibly contribute to the need to develop our young people.

    • Luis says:

      Both Madrid and Barcelona are surrounded by completely industrialized populations, Industry is there in all sectors, work, the economy, real life, bars and restaurants are for the population, not for tourists. Whether they come to visit city centers is another issue. If we are going to visit any European city, where are we going? To the historical and leisure areas or to the areas where all the factories and working-class neighborhoods are? Do not compare with Denia.

  2. Luis says:

    Tourism. But doesn't it create "quality" employment for young people and not so young? But doesn't it generate a lot of wealth for Denia? Tourists don't bring so much money that we all live here, in total abundance. Money and wealth that reverts to the infrastructure and services of Denia that we all enjoy. Now these lies no longer sell?

  3. Hendrik says:

    Labor-wise, tourism is not sustainable.

  4. Chis Bellido says:

    They are killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. BY CATETOS…

  5. It says:

    Total myopia of our “wise” politicians.
    The problem of “only” looking at tourism is not only the flight of young talent. It also causes a real estate and price boom that makes it difficult to live here and impossible to find stable housing.
    That very high percentage of people who work in services and who in the end have low salaries only a few months a year…. little by little they will leave or the quality of the service will drop so much that it will scare away tourism.
    Not everything goes to enrich a few.
    Let's look to the future gentlemen.

  6. Ayorazai says:

    And when "those who work serving", the lowest echelon, cannot survive here. He will also leave here to find a life. And the house of cards will collapse.

  7. Lluis says:

    Show me with data that tourism has generated wealth for the region

  8. Ines says:

    The most alarming thing about this system is until when, each company that has been started in this city has led to a period of degradation after the end of the activity, but these ups and downs always had a young population to overcome, but now they do. This city is burning with a tourist municipality who is going to overcome the situation, the foreigners reside who will sell their houses, the hotel owners who will collect their profits and go to another place or the hundreds of retirees who depend on the state, it is to think about it

  9. Maria says:

    Thanks to the Observatori, to Itsaso, and to this medium that makes it public. It is reflected that a balance is always necessary, and if it is not taken into account, everything is transformed, and sometimes, as reflected here, it is not for the better. Not everything always goes. Denia always had potential, but little by little, although now with a more unbridled pace, its rhythm changed, and everything has its results, which we can now see reflected, the search for job horizons outside of the city is one more of the consequences of this change, which, as the article says, "has been an all-or-nothing bet" and they are looking for "in territories with a better job future." This is one of the great consequences, but there are many more, and there is no balance.


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