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Eighth youth football tournament this weekend

Foto presentacio torneigSports councillor Jordi Vidal and Xicu Ferrer, the newly-appointed president of the island's football club (SD Formentera), came together today to announce details of this weekend's youth football (aleví) tournament. The sports trials will take place on the municipal pitch, and, according to Ferrer, organisers are predicting “some of the best youth players in the state”. Among the teams scheduled to take part are València CF, Vila-real, Mallorca, Betis, Málaga and hosts SD Formentera.

As the club's president reported, the initial qualifying rounds of play will get under way Saturday 26 March at ten a.m. The first and second semifinal matches will take place Sunday at ten and eleven, respectively, before the two highest classed teams square off at noon. The third and fourth highest ranked will go head to head at five p.m. and the final match is set for six o' clock that evening.

The sports councillor stressed the importance of the trials for local football and the high caliber of participating teams. He also seized the opportunity to wish the Formentera club's new president his best. For his part, the leader of the tournament's hosting team thanked the Formentera Council and Trasmapi, which helped cover travel costs between Eivissa and Formentera, for having made the event possible. Alex Marí, a representative from the Trasmapi transport company, was also in attendance at the morning presentation.

Social welfare gets new van for at-home service

Vehicle Formentera 04.03.16From today, the Formentera Council department of social services, la Conselleria de Benestar Social, will add a new vehicle to its arsenal of service equipment. The van will be used by the Conselleria's home-visit service (SAD, for Servei d'Atenció a Domicili), a programme to boost individuals' personal autonomy. SAD is aimed at averting deteriorating health conditions and social alienation among  the programme's participants as well as promoting sound relationships  between them and their families and housemates.

L'Obra Social la Caixa, the social arm of CaixaBank, donated €12,400 to help with the purchase of the van, which SAD staff calls its most crucial tool.

Vanessa Parellada, Formentera's councillor of social welfare, met earlier today with Maria Belén Villalong, the director of CaixaBank's Eivissa-Formentera business unit, and Pep Marí Mayans, office manager at CaixaBank Sant Francesc Xavier, to make the donation official.  

In push for quality tourism, Formentera to contract 130 professionals

rsz foto procés selecció empreses turístiquesThe Formentera Council, by way of the administration’s department of trade and the local tourism advisory board, has announced plans to use the employment website turijobs.com to select 130 qualified professionals to fill positions this summer in different tourism sector companies on the island. “The idea is to propose qualified workers to the tourism sector,” explained director of the board Carlos Bernús, “and in so doing improve the quality of tourist services here on the island”.

The selection process began one week ago and, according to Xavier Martín, head of the Turijobs portal, more than 4,000 candidates have already expressed interest. Martín says the process will create “a reserve of tourism professionals” in order to meet the need for quality personnel this summer.

Interested applicants have until 31 March to send their CVs to the site –www.turijobs.com/minisites/formentera. CiF councillor of tourism Alejandra Ferrer reported that the most qualified applicants will be asked to participate in face-to-face staff selection events held between 4 and 7 April in Madrid, Sevilla, Bilbao and Barcelona. Ferrer noted, “interviews in Formentera will also be organised if the need for local staff arises”.

In the end, business owners themselves will decide who they hire, with the Council offering support for video conferences or other technical needs. The Eivissa-Formentera chamber of commerce has also offered its support for the initiative. In the words of Bernús, “this is a project we are spearheading at the European level”. He added that “it will set us apart in terms of quality tourism”.

Formentera goes dark

The Formentera Council has signed on to take part in Earth Hour 2016, a worldwide push to turn off electric lights for an entire sixty minutes. Tomorrow, March 19th from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m., authorities will cut off the flow of electricity to streetlamps in Sant Francesc at the town square —plaça de la Constitució— as well as carrers Eivissa and Ramón Llull.

Environment councillor Daisee Aguilera encouraged Formentera residents to “join in on the lights-out effort”, calling it a “symbolic way to take on climate change”. Every year since 2007, the World Wide Fund for Nature (better known by the initials WWF) has organised the event called Earth Hour. This year, Aguilera explained, the Council has decided to jump on board by switching off public lights along some of the main streets in Sant Francesc.

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.

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