Monday, July 13, 2009

Smile, you are in Spain - campaign to promote tourism

The Spanish government has announced it will be spending more than twice as much on tourism this year than it initially planned, according to reports Spanish Tourist Office boss Ignacio Vasallo said: "The UK market is 25 per cent of our tourism so supporting the industry is vital." One in four of Spain's visitors are British, generating £10billion a year - but families have been taking cheaper options such as Egypt and Turkey. Spanish Tour operators have already slashed prices in a bid to win Brits back.

Last year, Tourism officials unveiled a scheme to spend €400 million on improving infrastructure in the sector, but this has been increased to €1 billion.

"The granting of 100 per cent of the planned credit in such a short period of time is evidence that the modernisation of tourism infrastructure is a key demand of the sector," Spain's ministry of tourism said.

John McEwan, of the Advantage network of independent travel agents stated that Spain is much more family oriented in terms of package holidays and its families who are holding back from committing expenditure.

Spanish tourism chiefs in association with Britain's big operators for a £2million TV and travel agency ads campaign plugging the mainland and Balearic and Canary Islands under the slogan: "Smile, you are in Spain." 2£ million will be spent in the autumn promoting individual locations such as Benidorm. Spanish tourist board believes that this marketing plan will enable them to reach a large proportion of the UK population and communicate that Spain offers much more than just sun and beach tourism. This is an extension of previous campaigns that have also sought to promote the leisure facilities and natural beauty.

According to the flight search engine, growing competition from other Mediterranean countries is not denting the appeal of Spain and the country is the most popular destination for families for the upcoming school holidays.

Barry Smith, chief of business development at Skyscanner said Spain has always been very popular with British holidaymakers and he added that the country is still an attractive option because it offers relatively low prices, good weather and easy access from the UK.

Skyscanner also found that Alicante was one of the main hotspots for those heading abroad in the October half-term, along with Malaga, Tenerife and Murcia.

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