The Extremaduran Federation of Municipalities and Provinces (Fempex) has lent its backing to a new bill which could open the door for the creation of integrated resorts in the autonomous community.
Speaking before Commission of Economy, Infrastructure, Tourism, Industry, and Energy, Francisco Buenavista, president of Fempex stated that the Extremaduran Law for Large Leisure Complexes (Ley Extremeña de Grandes Instalaciones de Ocio or Legio) offered an “opportunity” to reduce the high level of unemployment affecting the region. Buenavista, who is also mayor of Hornachos, said that Legio could be an “important remedy” to create jobs, and would help combat population outflow, as residents leave the region in search of employment.
“We [as mayors] are the first port of call for citizens whenever they have a problem, and employment has been for the last decade, the most important issue facing our towns and cities,” Buenavista explained.
Proponents of the new legislation contend that it would generate employment at a time when the unemployment rate in Extremadura stands at 25.94 percent, with each resort project required to create at least 2000 jobs.
Legio, which was presented by the centre-left Independent Socialists of Extremadura (SIEx) on 22 March, stipulates that a resort project should cover at least a thousand hectares, include 3000 hotel rooms, and represent a minimum capital investment of a billion euros.
While Canada-based Triple Five Group recently withdrew its bid to construct an integrated resort in Castilblanco in Badajoz province, a spokesperson for the Government of Extremadura stated that it has seen interest from other large investors regarding developing projects of a similar scale in the autonomous community.