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Chinese press visits Formentera

Foto visita premsa xinesaThis morning, head of local tourism advisory board Carlos Bernús accompanied a group of Chinese journalists on a jaunt up to the island's quintessential lookout spot, el Mirador de la Mola. After taking in the views, Bernús and the team -composed mainly of writers for travel magazines- capped their tour of la Mola with stops at the Majoral workshop and Terramoll's wine cellar. Their itinerary yesterday had the group ambling through the Ses Salines national park and, as the day wound down, taking in a sunset at the Es Cap de Barbaria lighthouse. On the heels of the tour, Fang Fang, head of the Spanish tourism office in Peking and organiser of the adventure, reported that “the journalists were blown away by the sights here on the island”.

The goal, explains Bernús, is for the journalists to get to know Formentera so they can spread the word once back home. “This trip was organised to get the Chinese media talking about the island,” he said, adding that most of the visitors write for niche travel magazines like National Geographic Traveler China. “The kind of tourist we're targeting is one with high purchasing power, whose tour of Spain will include shopping on the mainland and time to wind down afterward,” said Bernús, who pointed out that Formentera fits in perfectly as a relaxing, natural setting to crown a journey.

Last year, Formentera reps promoted the island at Shanghai's tourism trade fair — a trip Bernús indicated has already begun to pay off “with visits like this one”. The Formentera Council picked up the eight-person troupe's travel fare from Eivissa as well as their accomodation and expenses. In the words of Bernús, Asian markets could be a fantastic way to ensure off-season visitors to the island.

Formentera turns on charm for nature-lovers and sports buffs at Berlin tourism fair

Estand Formentera ITB EDITToday through Sunday, March 13th, Formentera will be showing visitors of ITB Berlin everything it's got in terms of sporting events and cycling trails. The aim is to “attract more German visitors to the island in the low season”, explained tourism councillor Alejandra Ferrer at the Balearic community's official presentation at the trade show, an event also attended by CiF president Jaume Ferrer. Over the coming days, the Balearics will be billed as the ideal destination spot for sports and green tourism.

At the trade fair, Formentera will be positioned as a destination to visit in the off-season. In that respect, the councillor pointed to two campaigns – Discover Formentera in May and Discover Formentera in October – as “clear examples of the perks that our pre- and post-season visitors can look forward to”. Plus, “German tourists are used to chillier climates, and are usually quite pleased with the island at these times of year”, Ferrer said. She also pointed out that “Germans are typically very respectful of the environment, which, given the importance we place on sustainability, is exactly the kind of visitor we want to appeal to”.

Travelling to Formentera, virtually

Formentera's reps will use the ITB to offer a virtual visit of Formentera's Ses Salines park with the help of virtual reality goggles and a (stationary) bike. Councillor Ferrer described it as “a way to show people the main attractions on the island”. Moreover, in a bid to increase footfall at the archipelago's shared stand, Formentera, with a space slightly removed from its neighbours, hopes to offer personalised attention and hand out information about propositions for nature lovers. There is also a dedicated sports area within the stand where potential visitors can find out about the more than 20 off-season sporting events scheduled for 2016. Those events, together with a packed cultural calendar, bring the total number of events on the island to over 60.

Formentera takes show to BIT in Italy

Fira MilàToday was the first day of the BIT (for Borsa Internazionale del Turismo, or International Travel Fair) in Milan, one of Italy's most important tourism trade fairs. Hence, through Saturday, the promotions office of the Formentera Council has got one fairly simple goal: «Build loyalty among Italian travellers». As department head Carlos Bernús indicated, «Formentera shares a stand with the other islands of the Balearics and we've used our space to tout our green trails and publicise events like our very first beach volleyball tournament, to be held at Cala Saona beach in May». Bernús says the office also hopes to see more tourists coming to the island in the low season.

Germany and London

Since yesterday and through to Sunday 14 February, Formentera is also doing promotional work at Munich's international exhibition for tourism and leisure, Free. Once again, at a stand shared with our Balearic neighbours, Formentera tourism reps will be promoting the island to the German market. According to Bernús, Germany will be the site of ten different presentations this year, where Formentera will set itself apart as «a family-friendly island of fresh air and open spaces; an island where, unlike some destination spots plagued by conflict, Formentera offers its visitors the promise of safety». And finally, from today to Sunday Formentera will be attending the London Bike Show, an exhibition for cycling-addicts where our local tourism representatives will show off the different cycle paths of the island.

Good news for Formentera tourism: 757 new licences and 257 new rooms registered

RP Places TurístiquesEarlier today, the Formentera Council's office of tourism reported on the results of its most recent campaign to get property owners to register accommodation rented out to tourists. From the ratification of a municipal ordinance and establishment of registration fees in 2011 to this month's 17 January deadline, 757 new licences have been made available to local hotels and apartment complexes for add-ons to existing accommodation or brand-new vacation housing. Likewise, 253 rooms have been registered at already existing tourist accommodation. Tourism department head Alejandra Ferrer notes the number of available licences for tourist-use rooms has gone from 1,195 in 2009 to 185 today. Ferrer reminded property owners who have yet to request a permit for add-ons or brand-new rooms they can still do so. The numbers, says Ferrer, prove many Formentera tradesmen have done their homework and proceeded accordingly, motivated by a desire to make improvements at tourist accommodation or just make sure their rental accommodation has a legal standing.

Registered accommodation means more than two million euros

The registration fee for each unit of tourist-use accommodation was between €2,800 and €4,200, depending on the quality of the dwelling. Ferrer explained the Council's policy of «lower rates for higher quality accommodation» as indicative of the administration's goal to invest in high-level tourism. Owners have the option of paying fees in instalments. The Council predicts the measure will ultimately mean revenue of €2,177,000, which a special commission will be charged with investing. Ferrer said investments will likely include improvement projects in well-established tourist areas like Es Pujols, and focus on market diversification, R&D and leadership initiatives. There are a total of 11,667 units of tourist accommodation available on Formentera.

Formentera’s message at FITUR: nature lovers, look no further

fitur 2016The doors opened today at Madrid’s International Tourism Trade Fair (FITUR), where the Formentera Council was ready to show would-be Spanish tourists the door that forms the heart of the island’s patrimony. By promoting our outdoor attributes, the Council hopes to appeal to Spanish travelers, a group that over the last three years has even begun surpassing Italians in numbers at certain periods of the season. Tourism councillor Alejandra Ferrer explains: «The national market helps us fill out our numbers in the pre- and post-season. It also happens to be the closest one to us geographically and getting away to Formentera for a few days is more feasible for them».

Tomorrow is the day the people of the Balearics celebrate their region – a day known officially as el Dia de les Illes Balears. At 12 noon, CiF president Jaume Ferrer will be joined by the tourism councillor and Carlos Bernús, head of the local tourism advisory board, in giving a presentation on Formentera highlighting the island’s natural and cultural charms. At 1 p.m., Juan Ramón Cobo, chef at the Es Marès hotel, will give a culinary demonstration of a new take on the popular local salad, amanida pagesa. Some fifty media representatives specialized in fine dining and tourism are scheduled to attend both presentations.

Outdoor trails and sport

In an attempt to increase footfall at the Balearic Islands’ stand at FITUR, Formentera reps will be on hand to greet and provide visitors with information on the island’s different outdoor trails and activities. A portion of the stand is dedicated to sport, and information is available about the more than 20 sport meets and trials set to take place during the low season. Together with different cultural events, explained Councillor Ferrer, Formentera’s 2016 activities programme includes over 60 suggestions for fun.

On Saturday visitors to the stand will be treated to a sampling of the famous Pitiüsa pudding flaó. For their part, the Formentera representatives will also have a full schedule of meetings with offices of tourism, websites, magazines and niche media outlets – all with an end toward showing the best of what the island has to offer. The goal is to push promotional campaigns like Discover Formentera in May and October, both of which are devised to attract more visitors before and after summer. New this year is Formentera Astronòmica (28 and 30 October), which takes advantage of scarce light pollution to show off the beauty of Formentera’s night sky.

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