The local tourism industry this week went on a charm offensive at a special World Travel Market went virtual.
The annual travel fair, which ordinarily takes place in London, ran from Monday to Wednesday this week, with the Costa del Sol tourism authority boasting its own virtual stand in tandem with 35 local businesses. The Costa, and several of its municipalities individually, were also represented under the umbrella of the regional Andalusian tourism authority, Turismo Andaluz.
"We have to show that the Costa hasn't forgotten about them [British tourists], that we know they love us and to tell them that we are waiting for them and that we are going to give them the best we have to offer," explained Turismo Costa del Sol chief Francisco Salado, prior to the event.
The tourism board expected to make around a thousand contacts as a result of the event, with the aim of facing the future "with optimism, convinced that when the pandemic subsides the British will want to travel [to southern Spain]".
Between January and September this year, only around 167,000 Brits stayed in the province, a drop of 79 per cent. Last year, by comparison, hotels welcomed a million British tourists for the first time.
Salado added: "UK Government sources confirm that 73 per cent of British people are interested in travelling again. I am convinced that as soon as the market on the Costa opens up they will come en masse."
The virtual fair gave local town halls and companies an opportunity to showcase what they have to offer, as well as their intentions for a post-Covid world, in live conference sessions and forums.
This was in addition to speed networking sessions, one-to-one meetings, and virtual networking opportunities.