“International Congress on the value of the Spanish Language “. Spanish as a tourist, cultural and economic value and resource.
Among the actions committed by the Plan for Spanish for Foreigners is the promotion of the region as a leading international destination and therefore requires professional initiatives that enhance knowledge of the economic, tourist and cultural possibilities of the region in this area.
The International Congress of the value of the Spanish Language. Spanish as a tourist, cultural and economic value and resource is a high-level international forum organized by the Junta de Castilla y León, in collaboration with the Instituto Cervantes y Turespaña, the Salamanca City Council and the University of Salamanca.
This meeting, which takes place in the city of Salamanca during the month of November 2008 to analyze & nbsp; the state and expectations of the economic repercussions of the language.
The Congress has top-level personalities in the business, cultural, media, training and tourism fields at an international level and is the first meeting to analyze the economic repercussions of the dissemination and learning of the Spanish language in the world from the tourist and cultural perspectives.
The most important Spanish public institutions in this field have been involved in the development of the International Congress: Cervantes Institute, Turespaña, Salamanca City Council and Salamanca University.
The Cervantes Institute is a public institution, dependent on the Ministry of Culture, founded in 1991 for the promotion and teaching of the Spanish language and for the dissemination of Spanish and Latin American culture. The Instituto Cervantes has more than 60 centers spread over the five continents.
The Tourism Institute of Spain (TURESPAÑA) is the body of the General State Administration, dependent on the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Trade, in charge of promoting Spain as a tourist destination abroad and has a presence in more than 80 countries around the world.
Salamanca City Council is the largest institutional representative of the Castilian-Leon city that receives the most foreign Spanish students per year.
The University of Salamanca, the oldest in Spain and one of the oldest in Europe, has great national and international prestige and numerous personalities of Spanish culture have passed through its classrooms.
Castilla y León, cradle of the Spanish language.
In this context, the Junta de Castilla y León, an institution of the Government of the region that has cradled the Spanish language, is one of the most active Spanish Autonomous Communities in promoting the language as an element of social and economic growth. It has a Spanish Plan for Foreigners, which is developed between 2004 and 2011 and which carries out a multitude of activities associated with learning Spanish and tourism in Castilla y León.
The Spanish Plan for Foreigners
The Spanish Plan for Foreigners of Castilla y León has among its objectives to make Castilla y León the world’s leading destination for learning Spanish, developing technologies, creating editorial content, hosting students and other leisure activities. The main objective of the Plan is to double the number of foreign students who come to the region to learn Spanish, currently 30,000, and also double the volume of income. This Plan, organized into seven strategic lines of action, foresees the improvement of the offer of the region, the support for language tourism and the structuring of the territory, the strengthening of innovation, the promotion of cultural heritage as well as business development and cohesion and coordination of these actions. The Spanish language, an asset on the rise in the world:
The Spanish language is, according to all indicators and experts, the language with the greatest growth potential of the 21st century. At present, the language of Cervantes is spoken by almost 500 million people around the world and, according to forecasts, in 2050 this figure will increase to 600 million Spanish speakers, among other contributions, thanks to the activity carried out by the Instituto Cervantes since 1991 and the activity of other national, regional, local and academic public institutions, including the foreign promotion of Spanish culture and language carried out by the Junta de Castilla y León.
The promotion and teaching of the Spanish language for foreigners, and in line with the dissemination of Spanish and Hispanic-American culture throughout the world, is a sector with great growth expectations. The efforts of different public and private entities (among them, the Junta de Castilla y León, the Instituto Cervantes, Turespaña, Ayuntamiento de Salamanca and Universidad de Salamanca), are increasingly important to attend and project a new tourism demanded by foreigners who come to Spain to study Spanish.
Since 1995, the demand for this type of tourism has increased at an approximate rate of 10% per year. In 2006, some 150,000 tourists traveled to Spain with a total expenditure of 255 million euros. The offer of Spanish teaching for foreigners in Spain is divided between private centers, which host education through 325 schools for 80% of the students, and public universities, with more than 40 centers serving the rest.
Along with the teaching of the Spanish language, as a new thriving business sector that in turn increases economic exchange in the field of tourist resources, a set of cultural sectors has opened up that have the Spanish language as their main asset. The economy of Spanish is related to the publishing, recording, fashion, cooking sectors and a wide variety of cultural expressions that distinguish Spaniards and Spanish speakers.
The importance of discussing, analyzing and concluding on the value of these economic resources related to the Spanish language is key to guiding present and future strategies and finding the opportunities offered by many viable business niches. That is the objective pursued by the & nbsp; “International Congress on the value of the Spanish language” , which is held in Salamanca.