Wednesday, 8 November 2023, 11:52
The second day of the World Travel Market (WTM) in London, on Tuesday (7 November), highlighted Andalucía's strength in the British market – the most important sector internationally for the region.
That was the strong message from tour operators and airline managers during meetings at the trade fair. And the regional minister of Tourism, Arturo Bernal, highlighted that Andalusian destinations have attracted 10% more British tourists in the first nine months of 2023, and that there are plans to maintain this growth rate next year with the aim of increasing this percentage. “We are the Spanish destination that grows the most on the international stage, above the Canary Islands, Balearic Islands and Catalonia,” Bernal said.
The minister said that 2023 will break records in holidaymakers, stays and income. “We are considering two scenarios for the closing of this year and the most realistic is that we will reach 33.3 million tourists, some 2.4% more than prior to the pandemic, and we will exceed 22.5 billion euros of income. It is a year to congratulate the tourism industry and all its players.”
Among the indicators that reflect this dominant position, Bernal said that the airlines intend to add many more new aircraft to their fleets in the coming years and that there will be almost 14% more flights this year than in 2022. He added that an average of 290 planes a day currently operate at Malaga Airport.
Yolanda de Aguilar, secretary general for tourism at the Junta said that all these figures confirm that seasonality is being broken and that the strategy now is to attract a greater territorial distribution of tourists throughout the year. The managing director of Turismo Andaluz, Lisardo Morán, said that the new 'Andalusian Crush' campaign will be key to these growth expectations in the international market.
Part of the message that 'the sun has come to London' was broadcast from an old newspaper kiosk in Marble Arch, in addition to a giant screen with colourful images of the Costa del Sol.
The President of Tourism Costa del Sol, Francisco Salado, presented the campaign with which the tourism body aims to “to conquer British visitors”. In addition to printed material, Londoners are also able to download QR codes for more information on the destination.
The Mayor of Malaga, Francisco de la Torre, was also at the WTM on Tuesday and launched a campaign from Westminster Bridge which will run on London tourist buses showcasing Picasso. De la Torre said that the month-long promotion is “to influence the role of Malaga as the birthplace of the brilliant artist”. This year, on the fiftieth anniversary of the painter’s death, the Picasso Celebration 1973-2023 has scheduled hundreds of activities in France and Spain, with a particular focus on Malaga.
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