The Junta's Tourism ministry presented its plans for the event a few days ago. / salvador salas

Andalucía sets out to woo more British tourists at World Travel Market fair in London

The UK is still the biggest source market so the Junta will have a 550 square metre stand and spend 545,000 euros promoting the region as a holiday destination

Pilar Martínez
PILAR MARTÍNEZ MALAGA.

The Junta de Andalucía’s Ministry of Tourism is spending 545,000 euros on promoting the region as a holiday destination at the World Travel Market in London from 7 - 9 November. This includes a 550 square metre stand at the which will be the base for representatives from all eight Andalusian provinces.

The regional Minister for Tourism, Culture and Sport, Arturo Bernal, said this week that 150 professionals from the sector will be attending the WTM at the ExCel centre and about 3,500 meetings are being organised during the event. A number of separate activities are also being planned to showcase the attractions of the region.

For Andalucía, a presence at the WTM is essential, despite uncertainties about the future. The country which is the biggest source market for the region has seen the pound depreciate by 17% against the euro, an increase in the cost of living and energy prices soar, within a framework of political uncertainty. However, recent reports from the Association of British Travel Agencies (ABTA) and Turespaña have shown that travel is still a priority for the British and Spain – particularly Andalucía - is one of their preferred destinations.

Rival destinations

When asked about regard rival Mediterranean destinations such as Egypt, Turkey and Greece during the Junta's presentation of its plans, Bernal said he was confident that Spain and Andalucía have no need to worry.

“We are going to maintain our position of relevance compared with our competitors. We are planning a campaign to attract more tourists, and having rivals makes us better,” he said.

He also pointed out that at times of uncertainty people tend to behave conservatively and stick to destinations where they know they will be treated well. Sustainability is also an important factor when people are looking at holiday destinations.

“Clients want sustainability nowadays and we have to show them that Andalucía cares greatly about its environment and its social responsibility. We have to reposition ourselves as a destination which is safe, diverse and offers the very highest quality,” Bernal explained.