The Spanish Tourist Board will be at ATM in a bid to reach out to Gulf countries, according to public relations and communications spokesperson Maria Jesْs Gonzalez Uzabal.
The represntation will be led by the managing director of the board’s Rome office, Maria Teresa de la Torre, as well as Javier Picazo and Julia Lَpez, officials from the board’s Rome office, which markets the country to the Mediterranean and Gulf countries.
Also at the event will be the tourist boards of Barcelona, represented by Carme Casanovas, Catalonia (Montse Subirana), Andalusia (Ainhoa Cobo) and the Costa del Sol (Reneé Ketchler). The DMC Ultramar Express Destination Services is also among the companies sharing the Spanish stand, and will be represented by John Nijhof.
Spain is the world’s second most popular tourist destination and attracted more than 58.4 million tourists in 2006. Tourism accounts for 11.6 per cent of Spain’s GDP, and employs 12 per cent of the working population.
Primarily perceived as a beach destination, it is now growing in importance for business, tourism fairs and sport. Spain is now the world leader in golf tourism.
New products exploiting the richness of Spain’s environmental and cultural diversity have been introduced into its principal inbound markets.
Spain has a large range of themed tourism offerings that showcase its culture, gastronomy and sport, as well as its Arabian artistic heritage in Andalusia.
Major upcoming events include the 32nd America’s Cup being held from June 23 to July 7 in Valencia this year, and the International Expo 2008 in Zaragoza, capital of the Aragon region.
“Spanish tourism authorities are working really hard to prepare these events and to get to know these areas of our country to the world. Valencia is one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean Sea with a rich offer of sun and beach tourism but also of golf, water sports, culture and gastronomy. Zaragoza is a very beautiful city in the Aragon region with many important monuments in the downtown including an Arab palace, called La Aljaferia,” de la Torre said.
“Our country is also one of the most important destinations for business travel. The Spain Convention Bureau offers all the information you need for organized a successful event in Spain,” de la Torre said.