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As 'Ophiusa' turns 15 this Easter, regatta still holding down Sitges-Formentera passage

Ophiusa-2017The Formentera Council's Office of Tourism reports that this morning the administration's head offices were the site of a presentation on the upcoming fifteenth edition of Regata Ophiusa, a regatta where participants sail from Sitges to Formentera. Local tourism director Carlos Bernús and event organiser Josep Maria Ferrer were on hand to give details about the event, which runs March 29-31.

In terms of turn out, organisers say they are expecting some 45 boats and 250 navigators. Every year, participants agree to support the Save Posidonia Project by adopting a swath of posidonia meadow using a QR code. Sailors in the regatta will be shown a presentation aimed to build awareness about the need to protect posidonia seagrass. Maria Ferrer pointed out that “seafarers enjoy the sea year round, but they also have a part to play in conservation efforts”.

Fifteen years on, and thanks to the parallel support of Balearic agency for tourism (ATB) and Formentera's Office of Tourism, the Regata Ophiusa has always imbued the same philosophy of balancing competitive yachts with family sailboats whose navigators are keen to enjoy Formentera on Easter holiday, when, free of summer crowds, a more authentic vibe prevails. Maria Ferrer insisted there would be “plenty of room for everybody among the various groups and classifications covered by the regatta”.

Visitors in the low-season
Carlos Bernús described “l'Ophiusa”as one of the big guns in the effort to promote off-season tourism on the island, assuring that “people visiting Formentera for the first time will leave with fabulous memories they'll no doubt share with their friends and families back home”.

The regatta is 100% Made in Formentera, from its name (“Ophiusa” was a Greek word for the island) to the categories it enfolds. Savina d'Espalmador, Savina d'es Cap, Savina la Mola and la Mola are some of those classifications, and fittingly, each includes a trophy crafted in the image of the Savina juniper. The first-place winner walks away with the Ophiusa's “Silver Savina”.

Organisers highlighted the support of ATB and the Formentera Council, as well as numerous other companies that have provided material or other assistance.

Officials endorse hand-off of tourism promotion to Formentera authorities

Turistes mercat artesa de la molaThe Office of Tourism of the Formentera Council reports that today, Monday, definitive approval has come for the text that will give authority in tourism promotions to the individual island councils of Formentera, Menorca and Mallorca. The overhaul will simultaneously mean a better funding deal for Eivissa, which has overseen its own marketing since 2015.

Formentera to get 11.07% of available funds
Held against the Partido Popular's proposed 2015 funding package, the current deal means more money for the services and functions marked for transfer. It also means Formentera will receive, in addition to 11.07% of the total package, important authority on statistics, market studies and production creation.

Formentera's tourism and land chief, Alejandra Ferrer, expressed her satisfaction with the terms of the agreement, which assumes the changes will take effect April 1. Taking into account a series of commitments that, due to the official

That the changes officially took effect in early 2018 means numerous commitments between the Agència de Turisme Balear and the Formentera Council remain pending still. The upshot is that 2018 will be all but typical.

The head of tourism described it as “a good deal”for two key reasons: not only will Formentera's funding allocation grow by roughly one million euros, above all, she said, “it provides for new personnel and the transfer of functions and services that are crucial to the task of tourism promotions”.

Once approval for the agreement is secured in joint committee, definitive go-ahead will still require the deal's passage in plenary assemblies of the island councils, another joint-committee gathering and, finally, the rubber stamp of a governing board called the Consell de Govern.

The power transfer will mean Formentera's promotional strategies are increasingly personalised and better reflect local interests and the island's particular characteristics. It will free up space for important projects (construction of a visitors' observatory, for example) to receive attention.

Brokers and owners on hook to furnish registry number when promoting rental properties

Habitatge turistic a formentera reduxFormentera's Offices of Land and Tourism announce that, in line with articles 19.n and 23.7 of a law passed July 19 and known as “8/2012”, homeowners and brokers alike are required to provide property-rental platforms the registry number that identifies their, or their customer's, rented holiday home.

In the event that number is not available, they must supply the number given at the moment of declaring intent to rent, a procedure which involves a document called DRIAT, or Due Declaration of Commencement of Tourist Activity.

Failure to comply constitutes a violation that can entail fins of up to €4,000 for property-owners and home-rental platforms.

Formentera, lone Balearic island repping Milan travel expo

Fira bit milaFormentera's Office of Tourism reports that from Sunday to Tuesday (February 11-13) representatives of the island will be out in force for Milan's International Tourism Exchange, or BIT, in hopes of reaching out to Italian travellers.

In 2018 Formentera will be the only representative of the Balearic region at the travel industry fair, one of the transalpine nation's largest. This year, Formentera possesses a stand of its own measuring 33 square metres and equipped with a big-screen LED and two backlit panels showcasing local spots like es Caló des Mort and el Far des Cap de Barbaria. The first, a cove whose name roughly translates as “Dead Man's Cove” in English, and the lighthouse which stands guard over Formentera's southern cape (“es Cap”), are not only well-recognised among Italian tourists familiar with the island, they also fit snugly with the declaration of 2018 as a world year of cultural tourism.

The fair will play out Fiera Milano City, an exhibition space located in the heart of the northern Italian capital. The Fiera's location makes it easy to reach for firms and garden variety globetrotters alike who are on the prowl for holiday destinations. Fairgoers who stop at Formentera's space at the expo, besides finding the latest iteration of the local catalogue of heritage sites, will also be able to discover and explore some of the island's most emblematic sights.

Cultural and natural heritage stars of Formentera's show at FITUR

foto FITUR 2018 2Today, the Formentera Council's Office of Tourism reports that with the focus of the International Tourism Trade Fair, or FITUR, trained on the Balearic Islands, Formentera took Thursday to shine a spotlight on the island's culture with its newly updated catalogue of heritage sites. The move is all the more fitting given the United Nations have designated 2018 as a year for cultural tourism.

The presentation touched on two distinct tiers of heritage. One was cultural, and presenters referred to the enduring mark left by the numerous civilisations settling on Formentera throughout history. The other locus was the island's natural heritage. Here, Formentera's representatives spoke about the landscapes and nature that set us apart from other tourist destinations, and held up such initiatives as the Save Posidonia Project.

Attendees of the expo had the opportunity to see and visit some of the island's most iconic sights. Using special eyeglasses and thanks to an array of 360º-filmed virtual reality videos, visitors took in landmarks like lighthouses and watchtowers.

A campaign built around selfies also figured in the plan, with winners of a raffle enjoying stays on the island and the promise of local beaches, culture, hikes and gastronomy. Of course, those are just some of the standout features that make Formentera a one of kind island in the Mediterranean.

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