Our client, the Region of Valencia announced that its theme for 2024 is “sustainability” at WTM London. In a landmark move, the region has committed to joining the World Tourism Organisation and will adhere to its Global Code of Ethics for Tourism (GCET). This strategic commitment to responsible and sustainable tourism represents a significant step toward preserving the region’s natural beauty and cultural heritage. Managing tourism is imperative to the region as visitor figures rise in 2023.
To mark this milestone, a press conference was held including presentations from the seven regional brand partners: Costa Blanca, Benidorm, Alicante, Visit Elche, Valencia Turisme, Visit Valencia and Castellón talking about sustainability initiatives across the region’s tourism sector.
Ms Nuria Montes, the newly elected Minister of Innovation, Industry, Commerce & Tourism for the Region of Valencia spoke at the press conference about new developments and her new long-term strategy for the region’s tourism sector. Ms Montes also held a press breakfast with the seven brand partners and the President of the Region Mr Carlos Mazon.
Elected in the recent elections Ms Montes is from the private sector most recently the former General Secretary of the Hotel Association, HOSBEC. Her first initiative in the post was to announce that the region would not be adopting a Tourist Tax on 01 January as planned by the previous administration and that this law would be repealed. At the breakfast press, Ms Montes and Mr Mazon signed a paper repealing the law and sent it to the government in front of the media. Mr Mazon called the tax unfair and unnecessary.
The latest data shows that the number of British visitors to the Valencia region in July 2023 topped 1,438,565, up by 16.5% in 2022. In 2022 the region received around 2.2 million British visitors, which is just over 14% of the total number of British visitors to Spain and was the fourth most visited area in Spain by Brits, after the Canary Islands, Balearic Islands and Andalucia. The region aims to capitalise on these positive visitor figures in 2024 and beyond, in its promotions and activities in the UK market.
The region ran a taxi, bus and Excel advertising campaign with twenty taxis and two city tour buses featuring the Region of Valencia brand for two weeks to coincide with WTM, to raise awareness of the region across London and in particular targeting visitors to WTM. The region also had a hall entrance wrap and boulevard direction screens at Excel during the trade show.
The Regions’ capital, Valencia City is the European Green Capital 2024, elected by the European Commission in recognition of the city's efforts to improve the environment and the quality of life of its residents and visitors alike.
Furthermore, another green initiative sees Valencia as a pioneer of smart cities. The city has been chosen as one of the three major European supernodes of the European Union's Citcom.ai project. This involves the installation of an artificial intelligence experimentation and testing centre in the city to apply technology to sustainable mobility and transport, urban energy efficiency, waste management and solutions based on nature or collaborative solutions for the protection of the environment.
MORE NEWS FROM THE REGION INCLUDED.........
The Hortensia Herrero Art Centre opened on 11 November. It displays contemporary art and contributes to making Valencia Region a leading cultural and artistic destination. This new venue will bring together the private collection of its patron Hortensia Herrero, which includes works by artists such as Andreas Gursky, Anselm Kiefer, Georg Baselitz, Anish Kapoor and Mat Collishaw. Some of these artists have created specific works for the Art Centre.
The Region of Valencia is also showcasing itself as a musical tourism destination. This year Valencia officially joined the Music Cities Network (MCN), a transnational non-profit association uniting music cities and policymakers around the globe. The network is dedicated to improving communication, collaboration, business, arts & policies for all music city stakeholders. For more information click here. Did you know that València has more musical societies than any other Spanish city, which goes some way towards explaining its vast array of cultural centres and live music venues.
Plus Valencia will open the new Roig Arena at the end of 2024 a multi-purpose, multi-space indoor facility suitable for holding multiple events simultaneously,
Alicante has become an important musical destination too, with regular programming of artists and groups of national and international renown, including the Spring Festival, Alicante Bullring Concerts, Goldest Festival and the Concert Series in Area 12 space.
It is estimated that there will be more than 100 cruise stops in Alicante in 2024. It will be the third consecutive year in which the number of stopovers and cruise passengers in the city will be beaten. Alicante will remain the base port of MSC in 2024, with embarkations and disembarkations on itineraries in the winter and summer seasons (January to October 2024). The Alicante Cruise Terminal building will be renovated between the end of 2023 and the beginning of 2024,
Benidorm will host the “Cyclocross World Cup" on 21st January 2024. The Cyclocross World Cup is the most important and prestigious of all the tournaments that make up the winter cycling calendar. The penultimate round of its 2023-2024 edition will be held in the Alicante town of Benidorm, the tourist capital of the Costa Blanca, on Sunday, January 21, 2024. This event is expected to attract over 13,000 spectators.
The Provincial Tourist Board of Castellón has developed a sustainable and intelligent cycling tourism strategy. The plan entitled, “ACD Sustainable management of tourist flows: cycle tourism as a backbone product of the territory in the province of Castellón'' was presented as a Cohesive Action between Destinations (ACD) for inclusion in the Territorial Plan for Tourism Sustainability in Destinations (PTSTD) in 2022.
Cycle tourism combines exercise with tourism and involves cycling and visiting attractions and places along a designated route. In Castellón there are several companies organising cycling trips, supported by a van loaded with equipment, tools and spare parts.
When did you last visit the region and was it the paella, beaches, music or something else you remember it for? Do share your memories.