World Travel Market kicks off with record tourism figures for Andalucía
The World Travel Market in London got off to a good start for Andalucía on Monday when the president of the Junta, Susana Díaz, announced that 2016 was due to break the 50 million mark in terms of nights spent in hotels by tourists.
The strength of the British market, by far the most important source of international touristsfor southern Spain, has played a key role in the record-breaking figures for this year.
Díaz said in London on Monday that this yeartourism figures in the region wre going to exceed even the most optimistic of forecasts made at the beginning of this year, when some 27 million tourists were predicted. The good results registered between the beginning of the year and the end of September indicate a total this year of around 28 million visitors, an increase of seven per cent, with 50 million nights in hotel accommodation.
“We underestimated ourselves. In the end we're going to exceed the most optimistic forecasts," said Díaz, who also cited the increase in tourists from the UK at 17 per cent and the rise in employment creation through tourism at 5.4 per cent, reaching around 378,200 jobs in the sector.
There was much activity in the Andalucía section at the WTM on Monday, the opening day of what is one of the world's most important tourism fairs, with an important presence of authorities, including the Andalusian minister for tourism, Javier Fernández, and the mayors of the most important tourist resorts, as well as professionals from the industry.
The word Brexit was present in many conversations and Susana Díaz announced that Andalucía would invest 15 per cent more to strengthen the brand in the British market and to create new products to combat the possible effects of the UK's exit from the European Union.surinenglish