British tourism expected to grow over the winter

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TOP CHOICE: British market is being targeted to increase

BRITISH tourism is predicted to grow 9 per cent this winter in Alicante Province, thanks in part to an increase in flights to Alicante-Elche airport.

Regional Secretary of Tourism, Francesc Colomer, will meet this week with airline companies and wholesalers at the 36th World Travel Market in London in order to “coordinate promotional formulas to revive and stimulate demand in the British market.” The UK is the main source of tourists for the Valencia Region, with a total share of foreign tourist arrivals in 2015, until September, of 32.3 per cent.

In 2014, this was 34.6 per cent. The region is the fourth most popular destination for tourists in Spain and the second most popular destination on mainland Spain after Andalucia. Colomer said figures so far show tourism in 2015 to be “very positive.” Although the number of tourists is similar to last year, their spending is increasing.

According to Antonio Mayor, President of the Hosbec hotel employers’ association, all tour operators have focused their objective in Spain within the European holiday market. Alicante’s Councillor for Tourism, Eva Montesinos, has also signed a joint promotion for the summer 2016 and winter 2016-2017 with the tour operator Jetair, part of the TUI group, which offers direct air connections to Alicante-Elche airport from Brussels, Liege, Antwerp and Ostend.

The World Travel Market in London is considered the second most important travel fair for the Costa Blanca after Fitur in Madrid to promote the area’s tourism. Alicante Province will be represented and Murcia’s tourism department is also in attendance wanting to target the British market. In the Murcia Region, spending by British tourists amounted to €455 million last year and accounted for over half of the international tourists who visited the region.

The official number of British visitors last year is stated at 443,868. In 2014, the average UK visitor stayed in Murcia for 11.6 days; more than the typical visit by foreign nationals, which was 8.8 days. Of those who visited last year, 70 per cent were return visitors.

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