Language & Culture

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Key Hotspots in Spain in 2017: Cities and Sectors

by paralingo on January 9, 2017 No comments

After the financial crisis of 2008 and the heavy effects this had on the society, economy and business landscape in Spain, the country shows signs of a shift upwards. There’s still a way to go, but if you know where to look, you’ll see that there are little spots of innovation and growth across the Peninsula.

Spain’s most well-known sector remains its biggest and most productive, tourism. This is still a hugely important sector in terms of employment opportunities and investment. The old stalwarts of the tourist industry are still present- Barcelona, Madrid, the Costa del Sol and the country’s Mediterranean islands. However, there are newcomers, both in terms of regions and activities, giving the old tourist centres a run for their money.

According to, sustainable tourism and niche tourism both offer the potential for success in 2017.  Sustainability is an increasingly important buzz word within the tourism industry in Spain, and the country has numerous options open for investment. This could include property, tour companies in one of the national parks covering 4% of the country and investment in travel options with the smallest waste footprint possible. Niche tourism, that is tourism with a different take from sea, sun and sand, is also taking off. Spain has a weighty offering including ‘gastronomic holidays’ in Extramadura, wine tours in La Rioja, holidays for climbers in the Pyrenees, sailing holidays and anything else you could possibly think of.

Keen to invest in and benefit from Spain’s top sector is another, and increasingly important one, technology. Travel technology is a growing sector that fits in well with the Spanish economy. Everything from apps to help find restaurants and hotels on city-breaks to finding parking spaces to finding the nearest place to rest your head on a hike.

You know what they say about eggs and baskets…Well Spain certainly does. That’s why the country has sought to diversify its economy in the past five years. Spain is fast becoming known as a centre for tech innovation. Tech startups have been flocking to Barcelona for several years now and the city’s Poblenou neighbourhood has set itself up as a hub for hundreds of these startup tech companies. Additionally, the city hosts an array of international conferences, the biggest of which is the Mobile World Congress (27 February-2 March).

Interestingly however, according to, it’s not just the Catalan capital benefiting from the wave of domestic and foreign startups washing up on its shores. In 2017, Malaga is set to increase its share of the tech innovation market. The city is positioning itself as a tech research and development hub. It boasts the Parque Tecnológico de Andalucía tech park, which currently employs over 16 thousand people. The city also has various startup groups to share and develop ideas.

Malaga, Barcelona and the other important innovation centres across Spain remain an interesting and potentially profitable place for investment and development by UK, Nordic, Dutch and German companies. However, despite the abundant potential present in Spain in 2017, there are also pitfalls resulting from cultural and linguistic differences between the Mediterranean and the Anglo-Saxon and Northern European worlds. These differences are particularly acute when it comes to the world of business. That’s why prior to investing in Spain and developing your startup, it’s a good idea to think about intercultural awareness training. This includes training sessions to help you and your team adjust that little bit easier to the Spanish way of doing things. You’ll start off on the right foot, with that insider knowledge that could see you boost your business.

Additionally, Spanish language training is also an important part of your strategy to operate in the local business community. Speaking Spanish will bring numerous benefits for your company at all different levels, including at the practical level of B-2-B services, as well as the level of B-2-C level in opening your offering up to Spanish consumers.

Paralingo Language Consultants provides business communications solutions to amplify the reach of businesses in Spain and across the world. We offer key tools for business communications. This could be one of our well-structured language training courses, a series of sessions covering culture tips for doing business in Spain for those relocating to the Peninsula or translation of your internal or external communications and documents. Whatever your needs, we have the solution for you and your company.

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