Tourism authorities head to London armed with strategies to win back British visitors

Andalucía's Tourism minister, Frnacisco Javier Fernández, in Malaga on Monday.
Andalucía's Tourism minister, Frnacisco Javier Fernández, in Malaga on Monday. / S.Salas
  • The regional Tourism minister said this week that the industry needed to adapt to the changing visitor trends

The regional minister for Tourism, Francisco Javier Fernández, said at a SUR event on Monday that action must be taken to deal with the recent evidence of a fall in British tourist figures in Andalucía.

This year's decrease in holidaymakers visiting the region from the UK, as well as Germany, among other countries, has caused the tourism authorities to adopt a last-minute change in strategy for next week's World Travel Market in London.

At the three-day travel fair, Andalucía and the Costa del Sol will come up against rival destinations around the world in their fight to attract British holidaymakers and convince tour operators to continue sending tourists to southern Spain.

Fernández said that this year's campaign would not just focus on London but would also reach out to places such as Manchester and Birmingham, where the collapse of Monarch caused a drop in tourists heading for Spain.

The Costa del Sol tourist board, meanwhile, promises a bigger and better presence at the fair this year, having its own exhibition area- of around 200 square metres - for the first time.

Its aim, said president Elías Bendodo this week, is to recover the 5.5% fall in British visitors recorded in the first nine months of this year at Malaga Airport. Bendodo explained that around a hundred business owners will be in London next week under the umbrella of Turismo Costa del Sol with more than 300 professional meetings already set up on the stand.

Beaches, golf, cuisine, inland beauty and city are among the features to be promoted next week in London with the help of the special SUR in English supplement (inside this edition).

The tourism special will be distributed from this newspaper's own stand at the fair as well as inside Monday morning's edition of the London daily business newspaper City A.M. which reaches thousands of commuters across the British capital.