Learning the Tourist Lingo

Salobreña is keen on attracting foreign tourists; you will have noticed posters in several languages appearing around town. Another novelty is a manual for local business owners so that they can tackle at least basic English for conversing with clients.

The English-learning initiative comes from the local businesses as a means of putting some life into the local tourist trade. The general consensus between them is that the sector has been allowed to languish, thanks generally to poor political leadership; i.e., the municipal body politic has been too busy squabbling and vying amongst themselves.

Without a doubt, they consider, visitors have dropped off, many of whom own property here (ehem…) Therefore, it is the maximum priority of the Asociación de Comerciantes y Empresarios de la Playa de Salobreña (ACEPS) and the Asociación de Comerciantes y Empresarios de Salobreña (ACESA) to take all measures necessary to recuperate lost ground.

The Chairman of ACEPS, Modesto Sánchez, points out that many foreigners prefer Nerja, where the majority of shop owners speak their language. The solution, obviously, is that local business owners need to be able to speak even at least a little English, he considers.

“We are aware that learning English is a slow process. There are courses for business owners who have not been able to learn the language yet, so we’ve decided to take this course of action,” he explained.

One of the ideas is that shop windows should also display prices in Sterling, as well as euros. Everything from notices in English to little flags of other countries fluttering outside the shops is being considered.

The two associations, as mentioned at the beginning of the article, are going to publish a manual with the handiest words and their pronunciation.

“We’ve got to stop worrying about how silly we might sound and just try, as the foreigners do with out language,” he said.

Finally, what’s lacking are funds, which is why they are looking for backing, and for that very reason they are very critical of the Town Hall for not organising activities with the money they pay in municipal taxes.

At the beginning of January, before announcing these above ideas, they had already come to the conclusion that “you either come up with something different or you go under,” especially in today’s economic climate.

Consequently, another idea was to convert Salobreña into a ‘gastronomic town.’ (ciudad gastronómica)
“We have to make an effort for our whole local cuisine to be known, not just fried fish,” adding, “We missed the train, but we must try to catch up with it!”

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