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Cultural and natural heritage stars of Formentera's show at FITUR

foto FITUR 2018 2Today, the Formentera Council's Office of Tourism reports that with the focus of the International Tourism Trade Fair, or FITUR, trained on the Balearic Islands, Formentera took Thursday to shine a spotlight on the island's culture with its newly updated catalogue of heritage sites. The move is all the more fitting given the United Nations have designated 2018 as a year for cultural tourism.

The presentation touched on two distinct tiers of heritage. One was cultural, and presenters referred to the enduring mark left by the numerous civilisations settling on Formentera throughout history. The other locus was the island's natural heritage. Here, Formentera's representatives spoke about the landscapes and nature that set us apart from other tourist destinations, and held up such initiatives as the Save Posidonia Project.

Attendees of the expo had the opportunity to see and visit some of the island's most iconic sights. Using special eyeglasses and thanks to an array of 360º-filmed virtual reality videos, visitors took in landmarks like lighthouses and watchtowers.

A campaign built around selfies also figured in the plan, with winners of a raffle enjoying stays on the island and the promise of local beaches, culture, hikes and gastronomy. Of course, those are just some of the standout features that make Formentera a one of kind island in the Mediterranean.

Formentera takes cultural heritage on the road to FITUR

Esglesia sant francesc panoramica reduxThe Formentera Council's Office of Tourism reports that Formentera will join the islands of Mallorca and Menorca in a shared promotional stand at FITUR, an international tourism trade fair. The islands' space at the expo, which will play out this Wednesday to Sunday, January 21, is coordinated by the Agència Balear de Turisme.

As in years past, Formentera will leverage the important travel industry event to take its catalogue of cultural heritage and natural spaces to an increasingly broad audience. One thing visitors are sure to see again at this year's expo is technology being harnessed —think VR goggles— to showcase some of the island's most treasured natural spaces and landscapes.

Sporting and cultural events, features of the Formentera calendar which generate ever growing interest, will also be the object of a special promotional campaign tuned to drawing visitors before and after the traditional high season. This year, as part of the UN's declaration of 2018 as Year of Cultural Heritage, Formentera's representatives at the expo will present a related brochure, the island's latest, before members of the national press. The presentation is scheduled for Thursday at 10.30am.

Just desserts for winners of ‘Compra a Casa’

Foto presentacio campanya compra a casa 2017The Formentera Council's trade office, in partnership with the island's small and medium-sized business association, or PIMEF, report that this Tuesday prizes were awarded to winners of two buy-local initiatives: “Al Nadal Compra a Casa” (This Christmas, Buy Local) and “Anar al Mercat de Nadal té premi” (Shopping at the Christmas Market pays).

The first rewards shoppers for making purchases at participating businesses. The grand prize was a €200, Compra a Casa gift card for Rita Cardona of El Pilar de la Mola. Second prize, a €100 gift card, went to Pilar Juan, another la Mola local. Finally, third-place winner Antonio Villar walked away with a €50 gift card.

The second initiative offered five people who had shopped at this year's Christmas market gift cards worth €100 each. The winners were Beatriz Rica, Manuel Lage, Rudi Della Lunga, Jessica Mayans and Dani Serra.

Details of campaign
PIMEF's manager, Lidia Álvarez, pointed out that in 2017 Formentera residents spent nearly €800,000 across Compra a Casa's thirty participating establishments. By showing their Compra a Casa loyalty cards at checkout, shoppers were eligible for almost €16,327 in discounts.

In December, islanders spent just over €76,369, or €32,500 more than the same period the previous year (Compra a Casa was launched in December 2016). Formentera shoppers spent the most (over €91,055) in November 2017, while, with just a hair over €54,110 in purchases, August 2017 was when they spent the least.

Black Friday
The good November turnout was no doubt due in part to “Black Friday on Formentera” on the 24th of that month. On that day, purchases were tallied at €10,077.

Spending in participating shops during the first week of January reached €8,667. Friday the 5th was when shoppers really came out in force; the arrival of the Three Kings of the East was marked by €3435 in purchases.

Enlivening local businesses
November, December, Black Friday and the Christmas holidays represented two months during which Compra a Casa card-holders cashed in on accumulated discounts. With totals of €1,699 in November and €2,474 in December, the money continued circulating between participating businesses and was spent locally.

Compra a Casa loyalty cards can be requested at any participating business or at PIMEF. Every time a card-holder visits a Compra a Casa business, three percent of the total purchase is added to the amount he or she will receive in discounts (for purchases at supermarkets and the filling station, the figure is 1.5 per cent). Discounts accumulated can be used from the following visit.

Call for Save Posidonia Project proposals

posidonia sergio arribasThe tourism and environment offices of the Formentera Council announce that they will begin accepting funding requests for conservation-related projects under the Save Posidonia Project. The period for submissions —which can be made on behalf of a business or an individual— will remain open for forty days from today, Thursday, December 28. Projects must focus on protection of the marine plant.

Proposals will be accepted digitally at the Citizen Information Office (OAC) and Virtual Citizen Information Office (OVAC). At the close of submissions, applications will be reviewed by a panel of international, national and local experts with collaboration from high-profile NGOs. After the 20-day review process, the list of winners will be published on the CiF bulletin board.

Funding
The Save Posidonia Project has raised €132,657.65 in contributions from 540 individuals and 18 businesses, which, at one euro the square metre, sponsored stretches of the 7,650 hectares of nearby sea grass meadows via the saveposidoniaproject.org website and on the associated app. Donors were able to provide support by participating in other events too, like Formentera's half marathon and Formentera Fotogràfica as well.

The floor of Formentera's nearby sea is home to the world's largest and longest-living known organism, an eight-kilometre wide, 100-thousand-year-old clonal colony of Posidonia oceanica. The meadows have been listed on Unesco's World Heritage catalogue since 1999.

Christmas shop window contest enters eleventh year

Fotos be formentera 2n premiThe Formentera Council and the local chamber of commerce handed out prizes today in the island's contest of Christmas shop window displays. For the eleventh year, the administration crowned business-owners for standout efforts to decorate their shop windows, an effort to get out the Christmas spirit this holiday season.

A jury including Enric Riera, a painter and art teacher at Marc Ferrer high school, the CiF culture department's Amalia Mora and Alvaro Mendoza, president of the local artists' association, considered imagination, originality and creativity in the Christmas window displays at the following establishments:

-First prize: Administració de Loteria
-Second prize: Be Formentera
-Third prize: Casa Ortega

Cash prizes —€225 for first place, €150 for second and €75 for third— and plaques were delivered by CiF tourism and trade secretary Alejandra Ferrer and Juan Manuel Costa, president of the island's chamber of commerce.

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