Agents get access to 500,000 potential customers at Spanish festival

Operators and agents will be given access to 500,000 potential customers at a Spanish festival in London this summer.

Spanish Tourist Office head of promotions Agustin Garcia said the Taste of Spain Festival, Regent Street, will take place on Sunday June 6 when the street will be closed to traffic and taken over by the event.

Running in conjunction with the Spanish Tourist Office, the street party is designed to not only showcase the destination but also its culture and food. It will feature displays and stalls run by 17 Spanish regional tourist boards.

Garcia said the trade is being invited to open for business in a specific market area, where it is hoped they can start organising bookings from the 500,000 members of the public expected to attend. “We want to have a focal point where consumers can come and meet Spanish travel specialists.

“The event lets Britons find out what Spain has to offer and the wonderful places it has. Then operators and agents will be available to provide further booking information.”

Garcia said the event will help drive the market this year, following an expected drop in UK visitors of up to 8% in 2009. In 2008, 15.8 million Brits visited the country, against 12.7 million from January to November last year.

He also urged operators to consider launching programmes designed to take tourists off the beaten track following the demise of Mundi Color in 2008. “Every time I meet people from the trade the first thing they ask is: ‘Are there any other operators like Mundi Color?’” Garcia said.

“It had the biggest portfolio and it featured hidden Spain; there are specialists that specialise in regions but Mundi Color offered the whole country.”

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