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Formentera takes show to Milan’s International Travel Expo

foto-2020-cami-roma--1Sunday 9 February marks the start of Milan’s International Travel Expo (Borsa Internazionale del Turismo, BIT), a three-day affair that runs until Tuesday 11 February. Responding to calls from Formentera businesses whose stock in trade is tourism, the island’s commander-in-chief Alejandra Ferrer and head of the tourism authority Carlos Bernús will be on hand promoting Formentera as an island where sustainability reigns.

From the comfort of Formentera’s very own stand, the island’s representatives will distribute promotional material underlining the perks of visiting away from the traditional summer season. “One reason people come is the sport- and culture-focused programming in the pre- and post-season”, Ferrer said. The pair will also push “Slow Food Formentera”, a map of local growers and businesses trading in locally-sourced products that the island’s handlers have teed up for the season ahead.

Tour operators and niche and local media outlets will sit for a close-up of the island on Monday at 8.30pm. Italian travellers constitute one of Formentera’s largest markets.

7 February 2020
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Start of talks with Formentera’s ‘Strategic Tourism Sectors’

foto-reunio---segments-turi--s1Formentera’s president and chief of tourism was joined today by the head of the tourism authority at the first in a series of meetings with figureheads from some of local tourism’s key industries. The gathering was attended by representatives of businesses involved in meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (“MICE”), health/wellness and luxury—three of the so-called “Strategic Tourism Sectors”, or “SETs” on Formentera.

President Ferrer described a meeting spent explaining not only how SETs committees will work, but also the prospects for their involvement in promoting tourism. The Balearic Agency for Tourism, or ATB, receives SETs funding from the “Sustainable Tourism Levy”—money which can in turn be used for collaborative, sector-level public-private initiatives and targeted product upgrades.

In all, eight different SETs exist in the islands: gastronomy, culture, active tourism, eco-tourism, sports tourism, health and wellness, luxury and MICE. In the days ahead, spokespeople from the remaining sectors will be tapped for meetings that are expected to take place twice yearly. Formentera businesses in these key industries must sign up to take part in SETs. By doing so, they share in decision-making about funding to promote tourism and can offer suggestions to increase the competitiveness of particular sectors or the island at large.

Promoting Formentera in 2020
Meeting participants also heard about promotional efforts planned by the Formentera government in 2020. According to President Ferrer, whether at travel expos, workshops and presentations, Formentera will “put particular emphasis on courting domestic, Italian, French and Portuguese travellers, without forgetting more entrenched markets such as those in the UK and Germany”.

The local tourism chiefs also pointed to professional development opportunities in the offing this April. The trainings will be geared towards islanders employed in tourism and eager to gain expertise promoting the island to potential visitors—a blind spot identified by a recent round of exit surveys intended to serve as a barometer for tourism satisfaction.

4 February 2020
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Close-up on bees kicks off 2020 series of UOM Formentera

Formentera’s office for the elderly reports that 31 January will mark the start of the new round of a local lecture series geared towards islanders over fifty and hosted by the island’s “Open University for Seniors” (Universitat Oberta per a Majors, or UOM). The UOM stages the talks across the island in Sant Francesc, Sant Ferran and La Mola in an effort to attract the maximum number of attendees.

The series starts 31 January with a ceremony scheduled to include administration chief Alejandra Ferrer; first vice-president and councillor for the aged Ana Juan; and UOM director Antoni Gamundí.

Consellera Juan encouraged the over-50 set to check the series out, describing subject matter as “a fascinating hodgepodge” and holding up “high-profile speakers” scheduled to lead the talks.

[31 January in Sant Francesc] Earth-smart agriculture: managing pests and promoting bees, with Dr Mar Leza, professor of the biology department at UIB.

[21 February in Sant Ferran] Formentera: emigration and exile (19th-20th c.), with Dr Santiago Colomar, teacher at Marc Ferrer secondary school.

[13 March in Sant Francesc] Formentera history: 550 AD to 1750 AD, with Dr Antoni Ferrer Abárzuza, historian and researcher.

[3 April in Sant Ferran] Unlocking the secret code of sicknesses, with Dr Cassandra Riera, high school teacher.

[24 April in La Mola] La Mola: notes from the modern and contemporary age, with Felip Cerir, director of the Eivissa-Formentera encyclopaedia.

[8 May in Sant Francesc] ‘Estampes’—imprints from another age and time, with Antoni “Rota” Marí, retired teacher.

[22 May in Sant Ferran] Uncovering the roots of local family names, with Joan Albert Ribas, philologist.
End of series.

The 5.00pm lectures are held at the Sant Francesc pensioners’ and retirees’ club, Sant Ferran’s social centre for the aged and Casa del Poble in La Mola.

23 January 2020
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

At Fitur, Formentera casts island as ‘laboratory for sustainability’

presentacio---fitur-2jEarlier today, Formentera’s president and tourism councillor Alejandra Ferrer led a talk before crowds at Madrid’s International Tourism Trade Fair, or Fitur, titled “Formentera: Laboratory for Sustainability”. In Ferrer’s words: “Maybe it’s for cultural programming and sporting events. Maybe it’s outdoors and tranquility. But whatever your reason is for coming, possibilities on our admittedly small island abound”.

Ferrer also highlighted the qualities that make the island unique, and encouraged low-season visitors to discover programming like the Half-Marathon, Formentera Jazz Festival, Gastronomic Weekends and Formentera Zen.

“The trick is to find the sweet spot between tourism, quality of life for those living here and care for the environment”, said Ferrer, “particularly because our natural beauty, wildlife and tranquility are our biggest selling points”.

“For over a decade we’ve worked hard to strike that balance—whether it’s the stand we’re taking on sustainable mobility, the Save Posidonia Project and our new scheme, launched this summer, to count and cap the total vehicles brought onto the island”, said Ferrer. “The idea isn’t to create new roadblocks, it’s to make sure that visitors and islanders alike will be able to enjoy Formentera just as it is now for years to come”.

The island’s uniqueness means it’s also the perfect laboratory for sustainability, said Ferrer, “putting us in a position to export sustainable initiatives to other tourist destinations”. “This is proof that it’s possible to find a happy medium between what’s best for the environment and what’s best for residents and visitors”.

Representatives of national and international media poured into the Balearic Islands’ shared stand to hear the talk—part of a day dedicated exclusively to islands. The Fitur travel expo comes to an end Sunday 26 January.

23 January 2020
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

To crowds at Fitur, Formentera styles itself as ‘an island of unique experiences’ where ‘“luxury” means preservation’

foto 2020 Esports aquaticsThis Wednesday 22 January, Madrid’s International Tourism Trade Fair —Fitur— christens yet another year. To drum up interest among travellers in traditional markets like mainland Spain, Italy, France, Portugal and Netherlands, emphasis at the five-day event will be placed on Formentera’s sustainability.

Formentera president and tourism councillor Alejandra Ferrer will be joined at the annual travel expo by her counterpart and chief of marketing Carlos Bernús. For three days, the island’s handlers will meet with representatives of online travel agencies and travel reviews. At the weekend, when Fitur opens its doors to the general public, the local spokespeople will spotlight the island’s appeal on the domestic stage and taking the temperature of summer 2020.

The three watchwords as the contingent attempt to court visitors before and after the traditional summer season? “Sustainability, culture and sport”, says President Ferrer.

On day two, as focus at the fair turns to islands, local spokespeople will lead a presentation styling Formentera as “a laboratory for sustainability” and “a place for one-of-a-kind experiences, where ‘luxury’ means preserving our natural spaces”. According to Ferrer, attendees will hear about local sustainability strategies past and future like recharge stations for electric cars, Save Posidonia Project and the bid to count and cap in-bound vehicles.

At a space in Fitur’s central hall which Formentera shares with its Balearic neighbours, the island will unveil the most recent addition to its arsenal of marketing material: a “slow food” map spotlighting local growers and homegrown produce and the 2020 events calendar.

Other travel expos
Reps will also be on hand this week at the Salon International de Tourisme in the French city of Nantes (24-26 January), the Quo Vadis travel expo in Geneva, Switzerland (24-26 January) and the Dussëldorf International Boat Show (18-26 January).

The coming months will see the island’s promotors cutting a path through Spanish cities like Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Bilbao and Sevilla which boast direct flights to Eivissa.

20 January 2020
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

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