A 13-STRONG group of travel agents from Saint Petersburg and Kaliningrad visited Benidorm last week. All represent leading firms in Russia and they spent the three-day break touring the resort and learning what it has to offer.
This was the first time they had visited this part of Spain, they explained, as they are always keen to find new destinations for clients.
Published in Costa Blanca North
ALMUÑECAR is a holiday destination that sells very well in Andalucia. It is well priced, offers large beaches with promenades, is ideal for weekend breaks and the famous ‘puentes’ or ‘bridge’ breaks for the closer provinces and is a very interesting place for a longer stay.
All these qualities have been confirmed by the delegate of the Rhodasol Agency for the centre and the south of Spain, Ignacio de Prado, who was visiting the region accompanied by 55 travel agents from all over Andalucia.
De Prado said that the outlook for the coming year was not at all bad and added that they are improving the information from last year.
Rhodasol has been selling trips to Almuñecar for the last 30 years and has mobilised the retailing agents with a ‘famtrip’ backed by the Municipal tourist board and the hoteliers of the area so that they may know the resort at ‘first hand’, including the night life.
AN agreement worth €500,000 has been signed to boost Almeria tourism. Gabriel Amat, President of Almeria Provincial Government and the Junta de Andalucia’s Councillor for Tourism and Commerce, Rafael Rodriguez, signed a collaboration agreement to further develop this key sector of the economy.
Amat said: "This is an example of institutions working together to face challenges and contribute to the economy”
A working committee has been appointed which will, amongst other initiatives, showcase the region at trade fairs in Berlin and London.
Half of the budget will be used on advertising, incentives to tour operators, developing the market within Spain, and programmes to combat seasonality.
The working group will also focus on joint-campaigns with other tourist groups working in emerging markets; attend technical conferences; and the development of the hinterland as a centre of special interest.
Published in Costa de Almería
COSTA DEL SOL hoteliers claim that reservations for the start of the summer season are not looking good. The summer season on the Costa del Sol starts in May and ends in October, and the President of the Costa del Sol Hoteliers Association (Aehcos), Jose Carlos Escribano, said that he hopes bookings will pick up soon because so far they have “cooled down”.
He also complained that the local administrations have reduced the promotion of the area to tourists. Last minute bookings are more frequent nowadays, but the Alliance for Tourism Excellence (Exceltur), which represents Spain’s major tourist companies, foresee several circumstances which will have a negative effect on tourism this summer.
The only positive sign,it says, is that private expenditure and available income of German families is expected to increase slightly, while the UK and France will maintain the current levels.
However, unemployment in Spain is still on the rise, VAT rises have made products and services more expensive, and now, people are slowly returning to countries like Egypt and Tunisia.
The fact that the price of airline tickets is rising due to lack of demand and increasing airport taxes is also expected to hit tourism.
By Jennifer Leighfield
MARBELLA has signed an agreement with British Airways to promote the city on flights throughout July. The Mayor, Angeles Muñoz, signed an agreement with British Airways representative, Georgina Wheston, which will allow a promotional video to be shown on 6,000 long-haul flights in July.
There will also be articles about Marbella in the magazines given to passengers. Muñoz said the project was a positive one as it is aimed at the British market, which accounts for between 35 and 38 per cent of the tourists who visit Marbella.
She said that although Marbella was interested in continuing to attract upcoming markets, it could not let faithful visitors be forgotten. She also met with the head of the ‘Turespaña’ Office in the UK, Enrique Ruiz, who was pleased that the total number of seats available on flights to Malaga this summer will be 1.9 million.
According to the local Tourism Delegation, the average British visitors to Marbella has a medium-high spending power, spending an average of €214 per day and staying between nine and 15 days for leisure and relaxation.
They normally book only their hotel, often have a hire car, and book more than a month in advance, arriving by plane. This means that the visitors, with an average age of between 30 and 39, come to Marbella and use facilities around the city and throughout the province. Most are people in business who come with their partners and families and are attracted by the climate, beaches and people. They leave content with the hotel, restaurants, services and environment.
ALMUÑECAR town hall is carrying out repairs and improvements in the San Miguel area. The work that has been co-ordinated by the Services delegation was mostly to brickwork and paint.
In the quarter which is popularly known as the Barrio del Catillo, work will continue in the maintenance programme of all streets and public buildings. The Social-Cultural centre of ‘Cueva Siete Palacios’ is undergoing repair to damage caused by humidity, stated the councillor responsible, Luis Aragon.
This is not the first time that the building and its surroundings have been improved. Some months ago it was painted and street lighting was installed in the heart of old Almuñecar.
Aragon pointed out that this is an important tourist attraction and as such it is important to make the necessary improvements to smarten up the area for the residents and visitors.
SUN and warm temperatures saw many people head for the beach in Almuñecar and La Herradura.
The weekend weather in the region was warm enough to encourage hundreds of visitors to the coast over the Easter weekend. Temperatures reached 25C and despite a variable westerly wind the bars and terraces were full of people enjoying tapas and good food.
Hoteliers saw better occupancy than expected according to the municipal co-ordinator of tourism, Rafael Caballero.
ROQUETASDEMAR expects to welcome 60,000 tourists from Northern Europe this year.
The town hall has printed half a million brochures in various languages, aimed to attract visitors from Sweden, Netherlands, CzechRepublic, Poland, Slovakia and Iceland.
The action confirms a strategy aimed at winning back a tourist market that in recent years has witnessed a decline in the number of visitors.
This is a supplement to the ongoing promotional activities in countries like the United Kingdom, Germany, and Russia
Published in Costa de Almería
BACK in those ‘olden days’ we had five weeks to earn an entire year’s wages... one week at Easter and four weeks in August.
The whole area lived that way. Those were the weeks of ‘tourism’. No one visited Mojacar any other time. That was it.
If you didn’t make it then, you didn’t survive all the other weeks in between. Dignity in those days didn’t allow borrowing money from a friend. It meant all too well that you were dumber than a moon rock and couldn’t earn when you had the blatant, obvious opportunity.
It also meant that strange and unusual people would show up and ask all sorts of asinine questions.
They boiled down to the three following: “Do you like living here?”As if we were surviving on part of that proverbial moon rock.
“Does it ever rain?” Yes, it always rains twice a year... on Easter and my wife’s birthday. Recent world climatic changes might mean it doesn’t hold true anymore. But it does.
"What do you do to entertain yourself?” During the day we count birds flying by. That’s always ZERO. Nevertheless, we keep a keen watchful eye should the circumstance permit a viewing.
In the evenings, we count stars and sometimes get as high as two hundred before being overcome by the majesty and grandeur of it all. Who couldn’t believe in a God when viewing the magnificence of the heavens?
At Easter time, there were parades as well as the rain. Wonderful processions with costumes and lookalike Roman soldiers, always morbid with a tint of the Satanic about them.
The whole world went to witness these spectacles. It was required attendance, unless you could show a hospital card when questioned. The local public kept a keen eye on us knowing full well we might not be ‘of the faith’... the infidel.
These parades were mournful, sombre, doleful events. So much so that immediately afterward the nearest bars would be filled to the rafters. Everyone was pouring down vast quantities of wine and beer as if taking a communion rite.
I thought it good to show my understanding and played a major role in this activity of penitence and redemption.
Published in Ric Polansky
IRAN is the destination for seven Malaga companies hoping to extend commercial ties.
The visit, organised by the Malaga Chamber of Commerce, will take place from the the first to the eighth of March and is the first of its kind from Andalucia.
The companies will be representing various sectors such as sanitary, lifts and elevators, wood, consultants, real estate, tourism and agricultural alimentation.
The Iranian ambassador to Spain, Saffari Natanzi, confirmed that there were distinct sectors that could benefit from this visit to maintain commercial relations with his country. He mentioned tourism, agriculture, food industry, industry, construction, energy, infrastructure and automobile.
Iran has promised to build one million new homes every year, so Malaga construction companies could participate in these projects.
He pointed out that Iran has a population of 80 million, huge energy reserves and has made big investments in all the sectors during the last 20 years, and has good relations with other Asian countries. Iran is also closely related to surrounding countries which means that there is a potencial market of 300 million people for the Malaga businesses.
One of the outstanding desires is to increase the flow of tourism between Spain and Iran and vice versa. He also spoke of the possibilities of growth in the olive oil market.
- Costa del Sol
- Costa Blanca South
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