A huge push to attract and keep British tourists is at the heart of a €650,000 investment by the Comunidad Valenciana government, which began with its stand at London’s World Travel Market (WTM) trade fair recently and is set to continue in the UK capital.
A new campaign and slogan have been devised one showing a smiling couple on a sunny balcony and others with tourists on beaches, with the wording, in English: “Time goes by, but some things always stay the same, like home,” and the catch-phrase, “Always Brit Friendly.”
Regional tourism secretary Francesc Colomer confirmed their aim is to inform the British that they will always be welcome, ‘whatever happens with Brexit’, and that they can ‘feel safe, well and worry-free in the Comunidad Valenciana’.
Now the WTM has finished, Colomer’s team is planning a ‘huge publicity event’ in London on December 3, as well as ‘other actions’ – as yet undefined – to ‘attempt to diversify the offer’ within the British market and ‘seek out new segments’.
Indeed, as well as enjoying some of the best year-round climates in Spain and at least four months of beach weather per year, the Comunidad Valenciana offers breathtakingly-beautiful scenery and a host of other attractions suitable for families and for culture vultures alike.
Whilst the campaign is aimed at the three counties of Castellón, Valencia , and Alicante as a whole, it is focusing more on the latter of these – which is arguably the most touristy and popular – and especially its coastline, known as the Costa Blanca, and its pearl on the Mediterranean Jávea, which was one of Spain’s top destinations for private villa rental.
Valencia is concerned that the effects of Brexit may shrink the British tourism market still further, it’s having seen a reduction nationwide since the referendum in 2016 – although it’s not all bad news: overnight stays in the areas apartments, hotels, and holiday parks rose by 5% just in the last two weeks of October, says the Costa Blanca hoteliers’ association HOSBEC.
Its secretary-general Nuria Montes says British holidaymakers ‘have become fed up with the whole Brexit scenario’ and with the ‘alarm’ generated that their future trips may become more expensive and difficult and are ‘making bookings as normal’.
But she believes the increase in ‘DIY’ holidays to the area may have more to do with the Thomas Cook collapse and UK nationals seeking ‘safe and stable destinations’.
Although the fact that figures for the highly-touristy seaside town have improved based upon the same fortnight last year could be the unusually-warm weather forecast – although a chilly snap has set in on the region’s coast, October was almost summerlike in the area and far warmer and sunnier than the UK at the time.
Forecast bookings for Alicante-Elche airport are at about the same levels as last year’s, although could see an improvement and the general feel is optimistic, Montes reveals.
“Even the odd airline which had planned to make small reductions in its operations has now called these off, given that the outlook is so hopeful,” she says.