THE arrival of Torrevieja’s first cruise ship on September 22, has sparked controversy among hoteliers and traders after learning that the vast majority of travellers on the ship would not spend any time in the city.
President of the Association of Small and Medium Dealers of Torrevieja (Apymeco), Caridad Salmeron, called for a meeting with city officials, concerned that with less than a month to go before its arrival little had been done in the way of organising and promoting initiatives with local businesses.
Salmeron said the organisation was told that they expect around just 100 of the potential 600 passengers on board the Amadea ship to actually explore the city, and with the ship not arriving until the afternoon and departing later that evening, those that did were likely to just remain in the Marina Salinas area.
With the next cruise trip tentatively scheduled for October 2016, Apymeco said they believed they were missing a unique opportunity to promote the city, and open Torrevieja within the cruise sector.
In response, councillor for Tourism, Fanny Serrano, said information about the cruise ship’s arrival “had been manipulated, distorted and lied about.”
She said the ship was expected to arrive at 4.30pm with shuttles in place to disembark tourists at the Marina Salinas. They are expected to return on board around 9pm. The councillor said they were unlikely to know until the day before how many of the passengers would be getting off the ship at Torrevieja but noted: “The most optimistic case would be talking about 150 to 200 people.”
She said an information tent about the city and the tourist train would be set up to welcome visitors.