Beat the British! Turespaña's controversial message to the Germans
Miguel Sanz, the Director General of Turespaña, has stirred things up in the tourism industry by encouraging Germany to send more tourists to Spain than the British, at an event organized by German media outlet FVW in Valencia.
Sanz delivered an enthusiastic call for more German tourists, who are often regarded as having greater purchasing power, by exclaiming "Beat the British", emphasizing that Spain doesn't want to compete primarily on price but instead intends to focus on providing a higher-quality travel experience.
While these remarks may not have been made in ill faith, they could potentially raise eyebrows in the UK. It's worth remembering a previous incident when Dolores Corujo, the former president of the Lanzarote Cabildo, expressed a similar sentiment by urging more Germans to visit her island instead of the British, claiming that they are a “better quality” tourist.
These comments triggered a heated controversy in the UK media and even prompted a letter from Steve Heapy, the CEO of Jet2, the main carrier of British tourists to Lanzarote, asking for an explanation.
It’s no secret that all of Spain, and the Islands, are aiming for a more sustainable tourism model, and many locations are trying to clean up the image of their resorts by banning activities such as party boats in Mallorca and Stag and Hen parties in the Costa del Sol.
However, be careful what you wish for as the British market has been, and still is, the backbone of tourism in Spain, the Balearics, and the Canary Islands, so as the saying goes: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you!
Iberostar Sustainability Awards.
Meanwhile, at the same event, the Iberostar hotel chain bestowed the inaugural Iberostar Sustainability Awards upon tour operators and travel agencies for their commitment to sustainable tourism. The following recipients were honoured:
Hotelplan: Recognized as the Best Tour Operator in Sustainability Initiatives.
Fairweg: Named the Best Travel Agency in Sustainability Initiatives.
LCC Green Travel Agency: Presented with a Special Travel Agency Award.
Fair Away: Received the Special Tour Operator Award.
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