From goblins to Gucci plus sun, sand and sea – Spain’s got it all!

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WINE CULTURE: Vineyard tours should be developed.

SPAIN’S tourism is booming. Visitor numbers are increasing and the government is talking up tourism as the driver of recovery.
But the truth is that sun, sea and sand have been driving Spain’s economy for the past halfcentury.
For years people have talked about the need to find alternatives because apart from the Canary Islands, Spanish tourism is mainly a summer affair of temporary jobs from June to September. And nothing much has changed.
Spain ranks third globally in tourist numbers, over half from the UK, Germany and France. But the authorities need to look elsewhere, at Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.
Chinese visitors, for example, aren’t attracted by the beach like Europeans – for cultural reasons, they prefer not getting tanned. Yet China’s showing an increasing interest in wine culture.
So, vineyard tours, focusing on the range of excellent Spanish wines, should be developed.
According to Ana Botín, Santander banking group’s CEO, Spain has to prepare for “the customer revolution… We have a good climate, good food and marvellous cultural options to offer. We could be the Florida of Europe.” But this requires focusing on tourists’ needs, and giving tourists exactly what they want.
Shopping is popular with visitors from the Middle East, Asia and Latin America. But this requires adaptation. Visitors naturally get frustrated when they want to buy, say, a designer handbag but find they’ve got to return later as the store’s closed afternoons or shut Sundays.
I’ve just returned from a trip to Norway, a country mainly confined to a three-month tourist summer season like Spain but this due to its northerly geographical position.
Yes, Norway’s cooler but the scenery’s spectacular, the people extremely helpful and, my, how it markets its mythology! Trolls (not the internet variety) are everywhere.
Come on Spain: how about making more of your folklore! For instance, your duendes (house goblins), Cantabria’s Caballucos del Diablo (Devil’s small horses) or Cataluña’s Dones d’aigua (Maids of the Water). After all, fairies exist year-round, so why not your tourism too?
Nora Johnson’s thrillers ‘Landscape of Lies,’ ‘Retribution,’, ‘Soul Stealer,’ ‘The De Clerambault Code’ (www.nora-johnson.com) available from Amazon. Profits to Cudeca.

1 COMMENT

  1. Absolutely!With all the never-ending turmoil in Greece, Tunisia and elsewhere, Spainwith allits amenities is bound to benefit. Holidaymakers know what’s best for them!

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