Costa panelists discuss ‘alternatives’ to counteract the expected drop in British tourism post-Brexit

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“The British market is non-negotiable, indispensable and fundamental to the Valencian Community,” said one expert. Photo: Shutterstock

ALFAZ DE PI on the Costa Blanca recently hosted a symposium on “New alternatives to the UK market.”

A panel of regional and local politicians as well as tourism sector representatives discussed their plans to counteract a possible fall in British tourism.

So far this year, the UK market has dropped by 1.4 per cent but was compensated by a 5 per cent increase in profitability.

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At present Britons remain the Costa Blanca’s principal clients, accounting for 40 per cent of the passengers using Alicante airport, and Francesc Colomer, the regional Tourism chief, put across a message of calm and security.

“We must tread more firmly than ever at this time of uncertainty,” Colomer said.

“The British market is non-negotiable, indispensable and fundamental to the Valencian Community,” he declared.

“Our competitive advantages compared with other markets have not diminished,” Colomer pointed out, stressing the need to continue to work “responsibly” to maintain the region’s quota of the UK market.

“We need to read the Brexit agreement’s small print, see how the disconnection is concluded, without customs duties or airport taxes that could halt the arrival of tourists,” Colomer added.

Meanwhile, Generalitat is working with the region’s three Diputacion provincial councils, local administrations and the tourist sector to source complementary markets.

Scandinavian tourism has risen by 80 per cent since 2003 and Russia’s has increased by 180 percent.

Eighty per cent more Dutch and Belgian tourists are visiting the Valencian Community while the Italian, German, Portuguese and Eastern European markets are also growing, Colomer said.

EXPERTS: Politicians and tourism experts discuss post-Brexit tourism
Photo credit: Alfaz town hall

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