The advance of the covid pandemic, still uncontrolled in many autonomous communities, has seriously threatened the celebration of the most important tourist fair in the world, Fitur, and in the pillory the classic traditional model of tourist promotion on the Costa Blanca, based on the presentation of the offer live. Fitur has also been, until now, a key fair for the province of Alicante, due to the direct assistance of potential Madrid clients -second Spanish issuing market-, both during the weekend, during which they arrive through the corridors of Ifema to pass 300,000 Madrilenians, as well as for the acts that the Provincial Board of Trustees carry out in the streets of Madrid, such as the successful festive parade through the Plaza Callao.
For now Fitur’s management has already moved it from January to May, trusting in a favorable evolution of the pandemic that allows presence, but has already advanced to the exhibitors, among them the Consell, the Provincial Council and the Benidorm and Alicante city councils (own stands), that the acts in which it is concentrated or with a capacity reduced to 25%.
There will therefore not be promotional material in the usual format (brochures) and, what harms the promotion of Alicante most, the gastronomic exhibits, precisely what had the most acceptance among visitors, and one of the promotional axes of recent years, reinforced by the cast of restaurateurs with a “Michelin star” based in the province. The Consell and the Provincial Council invest around five million euros every year in the Madrid event. Jose Mancebo, director of the Provincial Tourism Board, maintains that “of course we must adapt and the online tool is feasible for professional meetings, but the essence in promotions aimed at the final audience is precisely to have that final audience.”
Mancebo stressed yesterday that in promotions for the final audience, «we need the same thing, the public, who are not on any virtual platform, but rather want and want them to visit us, consume, be inspired and live the event we are doing, what we technically call experiential marketing. Open spaces, security measures, events by invitation. We will have to go back to those formulas little by little. Our sector and many activities related to it make a living from it, “said Mancebo.
Turisme plans to participate in person at Fitur del May 19-23, 2021. The construction of the stand has already been awarded to the Escato company and, according to Tourism, all possible changes that, due to the pandemic, may affect the fair are planned. Ifema has informed the technical staff of Turisme of a series of rules that must be met and that entail, for example, the almost total disappearance of physical promotional material and its replacement by material distributed through QR codes or other means, which guarantee the least manipulation possible. Gastronomic and oenological activities at the stands, such as live cooking or wine and oil tastings, have also been abolished.
For this reason, Turisme has reoriented the 2020-2021 marketing plan to promote the Souvenir marketing, and the message of confidence and security provided by the tourist areas of the three provinces. Francesc Colomer explains that “the promotion in the international markets of the Community continues, albeit adapting to the difficult circumstances we are experiencing.”
Right now, the strategy is now focused on strengthening online promotion on social networks in international markets to publicize the tourist offer. “We are applying what is known as souvenir marketing, for when the situation again allows a more massive dissemination and sale of trips,” explains Colomer. “Given the uncertainty about whether it will be possible to travel or not and under what conditions, promotion in international markets now seeks to maintain the emotional bond, and maintain professional contact.”
Ryanair prefers that passengers arrive at the airport with the covid test done
The CEO of Ryanair, Michael O’Leary, claimed yesterday within the framework of the virtual WTM held in London, that passengers can undergo a covid test before going to the airport, and not before getting on the plane, as a strategy to promote the recovery of the transport sector aerial. O’Leary rejects that it is feasible to test people at the same airports, since the results take too long and, possibly, he pointed out, “if there was a positive, the facilities would have to be evacuated,” the Irish manager warned. The tourist offer of the Costa Blanca is present this week in the virtual World Travel Market contest.
The Generalitat participates in this virtual edition together with the six tourist brands and it is planned to hold 30 appointments with various tour operators. Within the framework of this fair, Colomer will meet with the highest representative of ABTA, the British association of travel agencies, Mark Tanzer; and with the CEO of the tour operator Ramblers, one of the most important in the hiking product. The fair is held from 7 am to 10 pm to allow access from different areas of the world to all participants. Numerous live conference sessions and different forums will address some of the issues facing tourism.
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