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Areas Urbanism & territory, Tourism and Economic activities Tourism planning and Economic activities

Formentera takes signature gastronomy on road to Netherlands

foto-gastro-2018-3The Formentera Council bureau of tourism reports that today through Sunday, visitors dropping in at Flavourites, a travel expo in Amsterdam, won't just get an eyeful of Formentera—they'll get its gastronomy, too.

CiF tourism secretary Alejandra Ferrer described the trade fair—“an opportunity to meet end users face to face in the street”, she said—as mainly about new experiences, and particularly those of the gastronomical variety. “The Netherlands are a growing market for the island”, pointed out Ferrer. In the last twelve months connections with Eivissa are up 2.4% and tourism officials cite upticks in recent years in the number of Dutch tourists opting to spend their holidays on Formentera.

Formentera's stand is decked out in photos of the sea and nature scenes, and Dutch-language promotional material features everything from general interest information to the island's catalogue of hometown gastronomy. A four-piece set of posters has also been teed up for the occasion so visitors can put up shots of Formentera around the house.

The goal, says Ferrer, is to reach thousands and spread the word about Formentera among travellers keen on nature, gastronomy and once in a lifetime experiences.

Formentera has also brought in BALTRUS Communication for promotional assistance at Flavourites, where the company's representatives will be able to give first-hand information about the island in Dutch.

Formentera rewards Black Friday shoppers

cartell black fridayThis Friday November 23, the commerce department of the Formentera Council is partnering with Eivissa and Formentera's small and medium-sized business association to present “Black Friday on Formentera” as part of the buy-local programme “Compra a Casa”.

All day long, purchases of over €15 in participating stores will earn shoppers a chance to win a €50 gift card.

Following an announcement on Monday November 26, the winning shopper can pick up their reward at the PIMEF office.

Twenty-nine businesses have joined Compra a Casa since it began in 2016, with 1,700 local shoppers receiving loyalty cards.

Formentera flexes cultural heritage at World Travel Market

wtm londres 2018 1Only Balearic Island at Global European Market—'speed dating for international tourism'

The UK's biggest travel trade show, World Travel Market, opened its doors today in London for a run that will continue until Wednesday November 7. Three administration officials —chairman Jaume Ferrer, tourism secretary Alejandra Ferrer and department director Carlos Bernús— are in the City to attend the travelers' happening and promote the island at a stand shared with spokespeople from across the Balearics.

Tuesday at the WTM is for islands, and this year, to celebrate European Year of Cultural Heritage, Formentera is unveiling its brand-new catalogue of cultural heritage sites. Going beyond the purely cultural features of an island that has been home to a rotating cast of civilisations throughout history, the Formentera team will spotlight the island's physical beauty as well. Natural heritage sites put Formentera in a category all its own, and associated tie-ins abound, like the local network of nature trails, or rutes verdes, that gives visitors a fast-track to a vast stretches of the island's cultural and historic heritage.

Global European Market (GEM)
Formentera was alone among its neighbours at the GEM, a series of 12-minute one-on-ones, roughly thirty in all, where Council reps sat down with spokespeople from selected businesses —mostly from the UK, though some came from China, India and USA— to discuss a range of proposals. Carlos Bernús described the conversations as “very professional and very business-oriented. We certainly hope the interest our interlocutors displayed —in discovering Formentera and then heading back home to promote it— translates into action”.

Formentera will seize the occasion of the WTM to meet with British, Dutch and American travel agents and communication firms to begin planning for 2019 as well as related communication and marketing strategies. Gatherings will also be held with online portals and several airlines.

Tourism-ecology balance debated at Formentera's Posidònia Fòrum

foto-posidonia-forum-1The Formentera Council's departments of tourism and environment launched Posidònia Fòrum on Friday, a day for dialogue between business, island residents and the administration about tourism on the island, how it effects neighbouring ecosystems and how sustainable forms of it could promote sound use of natural and cultural resources, a stable economy and quality of life improvements for Formentera's inhabitants.

Posidònia Fòrum

The day, which kicked off at 9.30am in the Sala de Plens of Formentera's dependent care centre, had two points of focus—first, tourism and second, Save Posidonia Project-related initiatives.

Tourism secretary Alejandra Ferrer got the Fòrum going with an opening address. She was followed by journalist Carmelo Convalia's talk on changes in local tourism in the last decade. Convalia gave an overview of recent years that included the transition from the era of mammoth tour operators to à la carte holiday deals and online bookings. He also explored the shift from Italian mass tourism to the current trend of courting medium- to high-spending visitors as well as some of the attending pros and cons.

Up next was Carlos Bernús, head of tourism, who detailed Formentera's arsenal of promotional activities, from workshops with small-scale travel agencies, to trade shows across Europe, to pursuing off-the-beaten path travellers in China and North America. Bernús spoke about discounts and specially programmed events aimed at propelling tourism in spring and autumn, as well as reaching out to communication firms and niche media outlets and organising journalist junket trips in an effort to spread the word about Formentera.

Analysis of the so-called “tourist barometer” was handled by Ainhoa Raso of CEGOS, a specialised consulting and training firm. Raso looked at the barometer's most recent readings including responses from 864 individuals and identified some peoples' most and least favourite features. While people raved about the island's stock of beaches, vistas, safety and peace and quiet, they bemoaned high prices, crowds and noise, particularly during the high season.

After a break, environment secretary Daisee Aguilera ushered in the second part of the day with a report on SPP's progress in 2017 and 2018 as well as some of the take-aways. Participants then heard from Raquel Vaquer of IMEDEA about the group's Antroposi project.

Antroposi examines the footprint humans leave on posidonia meadows, monitoring the impact of marine traffic in shallow waters as well as the effects of the surging nutrient levels linked to treatment plant drainage and ballast water from ships. One more focus of the project is to study changes in the way posidonia siphons CO2 that are due to effluent waters and watercraft.

Up next, GEN-GOB's Xisco Sobrado led a presentation on posidonia and sustainable uses of marine ecosystems. The featured study, an environmental audit of mooring points on Formentera's coastline, strives not just to pinpoint the main points of impact and create use maps for those areas, but to offer a diagnosis of the health of posidonia meadows where ships anchor.

Moderated by Carmelo Convalia, La convivència, no sempre fàcil, entre el turisme I el mediambient (“Tourism and ecology: a sometimes tricky coexistence”) saw Vicent Tur, Santi Costa, Pep Mayans and Manu San Félix sit down to exchange perspectives and explore ways to align environmental safeguards with tourism, the economy and quality of life improvements for islanders.

After the discussion, San Félix took the floor to discuss Posidònia Maps, an application that proposes detailed maps of posidonia meadows, a crucial step towards protection from the anchors and chains of nearby ships.

Secretary Ferrer oversaw the Fòrum's closing, which included an overview of the day's conclusions.

SON Estrella Galícia Posidònia festival showers discounts on Formentera residents

foto-festival-son-1With support from the Formentera Council, the SON Estrella Galícia Posidònia festival will be back on the island from October 12 to 14. Part of Discover Formentera in October, the festival will mean three days of music, gastronomy and nature during which eager travellers can discover a brand new Formentera and experience the island in autumn, plus live shows, outings and delicious hometown food with a special touch from a Michelin-starred chef from Galicia.

Hours and locations

Artists and locations will once again be kept under wraps until the festival gets going...that's the magic of the event.

Perks for islanders

In a special bid to get islanders interested in this year's event, not only is there a free concert on Friday October 12 as part of La Mola's patron saint celebrations, there will also be a whole series of perks made available especially to residents.

Both Saturday evening and Sunday midday, islanders can purchase tickets for that day's event at a special price of €50. The all-inclusive price tag includes concert admission, food and drink.

To be eligible for the discount, islanders should visit http://bit.ly/2IAKCpE

Remember, space is limited.

Save Posidonia Project

SON Estrella Galícia Posidònia takes place with support from the Formentera Council and in association with the Save Posidonia Project. A similar partnership in 2017 resulted in the adoption of 10,000m2 of posidonia meadows.

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