THE strategy of promoting Valencia as an international destination for tourists seems to be working, once again posting record occupancy in hotels and tourist apartments, the home to the now world-famous Ciudad de Las Artes is emerging as a Mediterranean tourist hotspot.
More than one million tourists visited the city up to July this year, according to figures from the National Institute of Statistics (INE), which monitors the number of visitors and overnight stays, and if the trend continues, the record of 1.61 million tourists that visited last year will be once again beaten.
The statistics also show that the vast majority chose to stay in a hotel, recording hotel occupancy of 990,811 while just 58,557 stayed in rental apartments. However, this figure could well be slightly misrepresentative since the figures only show legal, registered and licensed market activity and do not account for apartments that are not registered.
The facts and figures speak for themselves. There have been 2.19 million overnight stays registered with tourism establishments in the city and 1.04 million visitors have stayed at a hotel or apartment in Valencia up until July.
The increase in tourism may be due to the wave of terrorist attacks and political uncertainty that has made traditional Mediterranean destinations like Tunis, Cairo and Istanbul unattractive.
The Valencia Tourism Foundation’s strategy has set out to specifically attract more international visitors; with a greater presence at international fairs they are now recording a greater interest from Italian, French and English tourists.
The influx of visitors has also served to fuel business in tourist and historic zones including the Plaza de la Reina, Calle San Vicente and Town Hall Square, where property is now highly sought after by the larger commercial giants, driving up prices and traditional local business away.