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Areas Urbanism & territory, Tourism and Economic activities Handicraft, trade and markets

Formentera prepares special plan to turbocharge tourism and jumpstart economy

foto 2020 COPTMembers of the island’s small- and medium-sized business group (Pimef), Formentera Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Hotel Owners and assorted representatives of the local tourism sector and political parties gathered for a session of the Formentera Committee to Plan and Promote Tourism (COPT) — an encounter chaired by Consell de Formentera premiere and tourism chief Alejandra Ferrer.

As attendees took stock of summer 2020, overlap was evident in feedback from the island’s tourism sector and from the Consell. After the encounter President Ferrer summarised the general sentiment around this year’s tourist season as “short, but better than expected in May”.

On the changing face of visitor habits during the pandemic, attendees pointed out drops public transport use and the increasingly frequent sight of private vehicles entering the island via the port. Hotels reported low occupancy while the reverse was true for homes and apartments, where private facilities allowed guests greater perceived safety amid the public health situation. The report-back was similarly rosy for local restaurants, whose outdoor spaces were apparently key to customers’ sense of security.

Current events
Talk alighted on the current state of emergency as well, not to mention the state of play across Europe. Attendees also heard an account of the year’s marketing campaigns. President Ferrer indicated that lockdown had found COPT members busily hammering out a promotional strategy, with some plans subsequently retooled for different markets and changing public health protocol — two factors that loomed large in the organisation of events and campaigns.

Economic reactivation and tourism 2021
Ferrer insisted that the winter ahead was a time to “roll up our sleeves and get to work” on the tourism and economic stimulus strategy, a document she said would take government involvement at the local, regional and national level. She asserted that the future strategy would “draw stock from islanders’ experiences rescaling summer 2020 events and divvying them up to avoid crowding and respect public health protocol”.

Ferrer highlighted plans next summer to promote Formentera as a ‘safe as possible’ destination, and said controls and screenings for national and international tourists, workers and residents were a key part of the public health conversation. With luck, testing alternatives will allow faster and more reliable antigen-based testing which, by summertime, can be workers in public-private sector partnerships. Additional discussion concerned other measures to enhance Formentera’s stability as a tourist destination.

Multiple encounters this November are aimed at ensuring the draft document is completed by the deadline at month’s end. A COPT gathering on the 30th will also serve as the opportunity to report on the tourist satisfaction barometer and updates from the island’s data observatory.

3 November 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Consell offers on-the-job training course for island’s aspiring youth leisure supervisors

The Formentera Department of Entrepreneurism reports that open enrolment has begun for an on-the-job training course designed to give local 16- to 29-year-olds the foundations to work as leisure supervisors.

Participants, referred to as “students/employees” and entering into training and apprenticeship contracts, will work as recreation supervisors at the Consell de Formentera’s assorted leisure centres. The six-month programme is scheduled to start in November.

The course is funded by the training and employment arm of the Balearic Islands Employment Service (SOIB) as part of a programme designed to enhance the dynamism of youth and adolescent recreational programmes. The cross-cutting brand of instruction employed in the course means participants will also receive English-language accreditation at the A2 level.

Interested parties must enrol by 25 October on the Mixed Training and Employment Programmes section of the SOIB website.

20 October 2020
Department of Communication
Consell de Formentera

Consell to shape plan to reinvigorate local business and intensify Christmas-time boost to local commerce

foto 2020 reunio comercantsAna Juan sits down with roughly fifty local merchants to tee up new initiatives stimulating economic dynamism

Deputy Consell de Formentera premiere and commerce chief Ana Juan met with a group of local business owners to discuss areas the island’s commerce department can direct its efforts and to shape new commercial strategies for winter 2020 and summer 2021. The talk at the Sala de Cultura (Cinema) in Sant Francesc was attended by roughly fifty local retailers and representatives of Formentera’s craft markets.

Consellera Juan, who was joined at the encounter by staffer Amalia Mora, held up the strong turnout as proof of “the will of local business owners to work with the Consell and other groups to make improvements to a sector that is essential to Formentera society”. Juan and Mora took note of shopkeepers’ suggestions and concerns and detailed efforts under way within the Department of Commerce as well as “present and future strategies to turbocharge local commerce”. The consellera also called on business owners to share ideas and initiatives of their own.

Strengthening local business
Among the range of measures on the horizon, Juan opened up about one in particular aiming to boost local business which won cross-party backing at the recent “debate on the state of the island”: “The days ahead will come with activation of a plan for training courses so local tradespeople can increase their competitiveness and improve their business”, she said.

Christmas campaign
The commerce chief said the ongoing pandemic meant islanders could expect this year’s Christmas holiday celebrations to be different, and she pointed to efforts to make sure small business were at the forefront. “For starters, we’ll be re-energising the Christmas version of our buy-local push, Compra a Casa”, she said, telling the island’s shop owners to “count on bigger prizes and a greater emphasis on sidewalk shopping”. “We’ll be promoting made-on-Formentera products and encouraging islanders to support neighbourhood establishments”, quipped Juan, who indicated additional talk at the gathering had focused on possibilities for brand-new initiatives as well as Christmas light decorations. Some of the new initiatives will be funded with money from Cel Obert, a pact that was struck recently with the Govern balear.

Juan described steps taken to offset costs faced by Formentera retailers during the invocation of emergency orders and similar tax rebates for the year ahead that the Consell is studying as well.

Formentera’s commerce chief went on to enumerate initiatives —brokered by the Consell in association with the local small business association (Pimef), the Chamber of Commerce, the Balearic office of commerce and other island councils— to bolster small business and locally-produced goods during the pandemic, such as the launch of the new ‘Compra a Casa’ website.

16 October 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Shop-local campaign ‘Compra a Casa’ concludes summer push to boost small business

foto 2020 compra a casa finalAfter drawings in July, August and September, the Formentera Department of Commerce announces the momentary end of Compra a Casa a l’estiu (“Shop locally in summer”), a joint effort which saw the Consell de Formentera and the island’s small- and medium-sized business group, Pimef, teaming up to reward islanders for supporting local small business amidst the pandemic.

Commerce chief Ana Juan highlighted the warm welcome received by the initiative during “what has been a tough year for everyone—local business owners too”. “Local commerce is part of our identity as islanders”, asserted the consellera, who said, “For Formentera businesses, ‘quality’ and ‘locally-sourced’ are pilars. Locally-owned establishments form the bedrock of our society here on Formentera, which is exactly why we’re encouraging people to get out there and see for themselves”.

September winner
This September the €100 gift card went home with Lourdes Costa Ramon, who went shopping at Carniceria San Francisco, a recent addition to the Compra a Casa’s list of partner businesses.

Compra a Casa did better this July than last, with spending rising to €176,366 from €160,982.28, while figures were comparatively worse in August and September, when they dropped from €168,225.67 to €151,347.82 and €144,860.74 to €161,505.51.

Consellera Juan underscored a host of initiatives steered by the Consell this summer in association with Pimef, the Balearic Office of Commerce and other island administrations to support mom-and-pop operations and locally sourced products. And she told islanders to watch out for new and improved bids to promote small business this autum and winter.

Among other Compra a Casa news this year was the launch of a website, www.compraacasa.com, “a way for islanders to connect with locally-run businesses, see which establishments are taking part and find out about available discounts”.

7 October 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

Formentera gears up for Formentera 2.0 and Formentera Fotogràfica

foto 2020 f.20 3The Formentera Department of Tourism reports that from tomorrow, Thursday 1 October to Sunday 4 October, the island will play host to Formentera 2.0 and Formentera Fotogràfica. Consell premier and tourism chief Alejandra Ferrer underscored efforts centred on guaranteeing the two events, originally scheduled to take place in May, take place in lock-step with public health protocol to avoid spread of Covid-19, and said the programming highlights the “firm commitment to elongating the tourist season in a year as complicated as this one”.

A digital communication and networking event currently in its eighth year, this year’s intimately scaled Formentera 2.0 will bring together thirty professionals from the world of digital culture. Eight speakers will discuss topics including the digital transformation, social media, creativity, the world of multimedia, video and digital marketing, content and communication and digital platforms. Attendance at the lectures is closed to the public but twenty spaces have been set aside so islanders not taking part in the rest of the event can attend a special Saturday afternoon lecture by “Instagramers” founder Phil González in Plaça de la Constitució. Contact info@formentera20 to request tickets.

Formentera Fotogràfica celebrates its eighth edition over the same four-day period. Sixty-five photography lovers have already signed up to attend the event, also atypically intimate given the circumstances. Fourteen figureheads of contemporary photography will offer classes running the gamut from hands-on to theory-driven, creating a space for collective reflection and creation in a closed-to-the-public format. As in years past, Formentera Fotogràfica organisers have led with an eclectic and intergenerational programme playing on equal parts local talent and marquee names from the national and international photography scenes.

30 September 2020
Department of Communications
Consell de Formentera

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