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Formentera announces first info sessions on regional funding

The European Union's Directorate General of funding, in collaboration with Centre Balears Europa and the Balearic Islands' Agència de Turisme and support from a coterie of entities including the Formentera Council, the local small and medium-sized business association (PIMEF), the chamber of commerce for Formentera and Eivissa and the island's coalition of hotel owners, have put together a day for freelancers and business owners to find out about regional incentives powered by funding from the European Union and promoted by the Spanish government.

Regional incentives
The state's “regional incentives” have a number of aims: stimulating business activity and directing it at specified areas to reduce disparities on the national plain, achieving a fairer distribution of economic assistance, and reinforcing individual regions' capacity for growth.

The EU co-finances a large portion of aid for regional incentives using the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), part of an effort to stimulate creation of new businesses in Spain's disadvantaged regions.

Qualifying projects:
New businesses, with investments that create new business activity and jobs.

Expansions, with investments that drive growth of activity already established or the start of new activity. For pre-existing activity, whether or not it relates to the applicant's current activity, qualifying projects must involve significant increases to production capacity. Expansions must entail the creation of new jobs and the maintenance of existing ones.

Modernisations, with investments that constitute a considerable portion of the modernising business's tangible fixed assets and involve purchase of cutting-edge machinery that generates measurable productivity increases. Investment must drive diversification of a business's production activity to new or additional markets, or mean fundamental transformation in a pre-existing business's overarching production process. Existing positions within the company must be maintained.

Qualifying Formentera businesses must make investments that involve creation of a new business, expansion of pre-established business activity, or launch of an activity that involves a fundamental change in product or production process.

The event is scheduled to take place at 11.30am on Monday, March 26 in the Sala d'Actes of the Formentera Council.

Six years of Formentera 2.0

Portada formentera20The island's Office of Tourism reports that May 3-6 Formentera will be the site of Formentera 2.0, a series of day-long explorations of digital culture, emerging technologies and communication turning six in 2018.

At once a plug of the island's status in the digital world as well as its role as a getaway destination, if the prestigious Formentera 2.0 has taken on particular relevance in the digital realm, it is not just thanks to the event's lineup of speakers but also to the professionals they attract.

The day-long events are staged at various points across the island in a bid to afford participants a chance to network and bolster professional relationships. The initiative is seen as a chance to share talent and knowledge and see the latest advances in tech discussed by top-tier professionals.

Speakers at sixth Formentera 2.0
This year's Formentera 2.0 welcomes the following speakers: Sarah Harmon, director at Linkedin Iberia; Lluís Alsina, director of innovation and digital at Gest Music; Toni Sellés, founder of Vasava; Glòria Molins, director of global experiences at Airbnb; Covadonga Noguerol, media director at Estrella Galícia; and  Álvaro Morales, director of innovation and media at Carat.

Topics will include digital marketing, content, social media, strategy, digital, transmedia, creativity, television, design and digital communication.

This Spring, Formentera is a destination for culture and fitness
Activities like Formentera 2.0, the sixth Formentera Fotogràfica, the tenth Formentera half marathon and the fifteenth Ophiusa sailing regatta are part of a bid to showcase Formentera as a sports and cultural capital. They also serve to encourage visitors to the island outside the summer season.

Formentera touts environmental safeguards at ITB Berlin's Pow-Wow space

Foto presentacio itb berlin 2018Formentera's Office of Tourism reports the island will be represented at ITB, a travel expo scheduled to kick off this Sunday, March 11, in Berlin. Promotion of the island will take place in a shared stand under the aegis of the Agència Balear de Turisme.

The trade show will once again be a chance for Formentera to show the world its cultural heritage and natural spaces. With special 3D goggles and an array of 360º VR videos, visitors to the expo will be able to see some of the island's most treasured landmarks and landscapes.

The island's catalogue of increasingly popular fitness and cultural events will be on display as well in an effort to attract visitors before and after the traditional high season.

In light of the UN's designation of 2018 as a year for cultural heritage, island reps will tout freshly minted literature on the topic.

This year in addition to the CiF and ATB's joint presentation at the Balearic Islands' stand, Formentera was selected by ITB management to be included in the expo's Pow-Wow space for professionals of responsible tourism. Scheduled to take place at 3.00pm tomorrow in pavilion 4.1.b, that presentation will showcase information about local action in favour of sustainability and land protections.

As 'Ophiusa' turns 15 this Easter, regatta still holding down Sitges-Formentera passage

Ophiusa-2017The Formentera Council's Office of Tourism reports that this morning the administration's head offices were the site of a presentation on the upcoming fifteenth edition of Regata Ophiusa, a regatta where participants sail from Sitges to Formentera. Local tourism director Carlos Bernús and event organiser Josep Maria Ferrer were on hand to give details about the event, which runs March 29-31.

In terms of turn out, organisers say they are expecting some 45 boats and 250 navigators. Every year, participants agree to support the Save Posidonia Project by adopting a swath of posidonia meadow using a QR code. Sailors in the regatta will be shown a presentation aimed to build awareness about the need to protect posidonia seagrass. Maria Ferrer pointed out that “seafarers enjoy the sea year round, but they also have a part to play in conservation efforts”.

Fifteen years on, and thanks to the parallel support of Balearic agency for tourism (ATB) and Formentera's Office of Tourism, the Regata Ophiusa has always imbued the same philosophy of balancing competitive yachts with family sailboats whose navigators are keen to enjoy Formentera on Easter holiday, when, free of summer crowds, a more authentic vibe prevails. Maria Ferrer insisted there would be “plenty of room for everybody among the various groups and classifications covered by the regatta”.

Visitors in the low-season
Carlos Bernús described “l'Ophiusa”as one of the big guns in the effort to promote off-season tourism on the island, assuring that “people visiting Formentera for the first time will leave with fabulous memories they'll no doubt share with their friends and families back home”.

The regatta is 100% Made in Formentera, from its name (“Ophiusa” was a Greek word for the island) to the categories it enfolds. Savina d'Espalmador, Savina d'es Cap, Savina la Mola and la Mola are some of those classifications, and fittingly, each includes a trophy crafted in the image of the Savina juniper. The first-place winner walks away with the Ophiusa's “Silver Savina”.

Organisers highlighted the support of ATB and the Formentera Council, as well as numerous other companies that have provided material or other assistance.

Officials endorse hand-off of tourism promotion to Formentera authorities

Turistes mercat artesa de la molaThe Office of Tourism of the Formentera Council reports that today, Monday, definitive approval has come for the text that will give authority in tourism promotions to the individual island councils of Formentera, Menorca and Mallorca. The overhaul will simultaneously mean a better funding deal for Eivissa, which has overseen its own marketing since 2015.

Formentera to get 11.07% of available funds
Held against the Partido Popular's proposed 2015 funding package, the current deal means more money for the services and functions marked for transfer. It also means Formentera will receive, in addition to 11.07% of the total package, important authority on statistics, market studies and production creation.

Formentera's tourism and land chief, Alejandra Ferrer, expressed her satisfaction with the terms of the agreement, which assumes the changes will take effect April 1. Taking into account a series of commitments that, due to the official

That the changes officially took effect in early 2018 means numerous commitments between the Agència de Turisme Balear and the Formentera Council remain pending still. The upshot is that 2018 will be all but typical.

The head of tourism described it as “a good deal”for two key reasons: not only will Formentera's funding allocation grow by roughly one million euros, above all, she said, “it provides for new personnel and the transfer of functions and services that are crucial to the task of tourism promotions”.

Once approval for the agreement is secured in joint committee, definitive go-ahead will still require the deal's passage in plenary assemblies of the island councils, another joint-committee gathering and, finally, the rubber stamp of a governing board called the Consell de Govern.

The power transfer will mean Formentera's promotional strategies are increasingly personalised and better reflect local interests and the island's particular characteristics. It will free up space for important projects (construction of a visitors' observatory, for example) to receive attention.

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