The annual tourism trade fair, held in London, is one of the biggest of its kind worldwide and a hugely important event for those in the business
This week sees the 35th edition of the annual World Travel Market which is held in the Excel exhibition centre in London’s Docklands and has long been considered one of the most important tourism trade fairs in existence.
Last week the head of the Junta de Andalucía’s tourism department, Rafael Rodríguez and the president of the Costa del Sol Tourist Board, Elías Bendodo, have both given presentations outlining the promotional campaigns their departments are taking to London.
Costa del Sol campaign
Bendodo stressed that British tourists are still the biggest foreign market in terms of the Costa del Sol, making up 30 per cent of all international visitors and with a growing market consecutively over the last four years. In figures this amounts to 641,207 British tourists staying in Costa del Sol hotels up to September of this year – a year-on-year increase of 2.4 per cent.
Bendodo revealed that his department’s strategy of ‘segmentación’ consists of pointing out the diversity of a region which has an exceptional climate by dividing its attractions into ten distinct segments.
“We are going to present a reinvented destination to British tourists who, while loving the sun and the sand, look more and more to enrich their holiday experience,” said Bendodo. He pointed out that 35 Malaga-based businesses are going to the WTM along with the councils of Torremolinos, Benalmádena, Marbella and Estepona, with a planned 400 meetings with independent tour operators, airlines and online companies. The gastronomic brand ‘Sabor a Málaga’ is to make an appearance too.
Another campaign being showcased in London is ‘Siempre Cálida’(always warm) which is designed to attract tourists during the cooler months. Bendodo emphasized that the promotion, presented earlier in the year at Berlin’s ITB tourist trade fair, had contributed greatly to the latest Costa winter visitor numbers which are historic.
A key market
Rafael Rodríguez stressed, similarly, the importance of the ‘key’ British tourist market to Andalucía which is also bigger than ever.
Andalucía’s section at the WTM is 550 square metres in size and has four sections with 32 businesses exhibiting and a budget of 570,000 euros. There is a dedicated area for conferences and presentations with 200 professionals involved.
There is a simulated voyage for visitors to the zone, called ‘Gateway to Andalucía’ and events outside the Excel exhibition hall such as cooking demonstrations in Spanish restaurants José and Pizarro.
Rodríguez says that, in regard to the WTM, “every year our ambition and our objectives grow”.
courtesy: Sur in English
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