The Mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre, greets the royals at Fitur. S. S.
The 34th annual Fitur tourism fair was officially opened in Madrid on Wednesday by the Prince and Princess of Asturias. The royal couple toured the stands where tourist destinations all over the world hoped the event would help them boost their business and attract more visitors this year.
Accompanied by Minister for Industry and Tourism, José Manuel Soria, and Secretary of State for Tourism, Isabel Borrego, Felipe and Letizia made their way to the Malaga stand where they were greeted by the Mayor, Francisco de la Torre, and Tourism councillor, Damián Caneda.
The Prince showed great interest in Malaga’s Smart City project before stopping at the display put on by the Malaga motor museum. “Letizia, you must see it; it’s unique,” the heir to the throne, who had visited the museum while in Malaga, said to his wife.
Fitur has been about more than just royal niceties though, as tourism authorities have announced good news for the industry on the Costa del Sol for 2014.
This year the ten million visitor mark is expected to be reached, beating the 9.5 million figure given by the Costa del Sol Tourist Board for 2013. A 2.2 million euro investment has also been announced this week for the western Costa del Sol.
The Secretary of State for Tourism, Isabel Borrego, has launched a joint initiative with the ‘Mancomunidad de la Costa Occidental’ and Malaga’s provincial government to invest 2.2 million in the region’s tourism industry, under the umbrella of sustainability, over a period of three years.
Also at the trade fair, an innovative agreement was announced between Malaga’s port and its airport to enable passengers flying in from Britain to embark on a cruise without having to collect or transport their luggage across the city.
The Costa del Sol’s tourism authority revealed its forecast for 2014 - a rise from last year’s visitor figures of 9.5 million to more than 10 million in the coming year.
Fitur, the key event in Spain’s annual agenda for the tourism industry, began with the customary dinner for 300 specially invited guests of fried fish or ‘pescaíto’ prepared by chefs from Torremolinos.