Both Vueling and Ryanair have announced their intentions to commence operations at the end of March, ensuring that these two lost-cost airlines, which normally only fly from May, carry passengers earlier in the season. The Tourism Councillor, Pepa Marí, is certain that this is a good sign, and the expansion of their routes to Toulouse, Paris, Bristol and Oslo will encourage more people to take their holidays in the early part of the year. She went on to say that many hotels have signed contracts with tour companies as from the 15th April, remembering that Easter Sunday falls on the 24th of that month.
She also mentioned that she will be attending the ‘Fitur’ international tourist fair in Madrid, which will be held from the 19th to the 23rd of January, backed by the good figures from 2010, which saw the number of passengers passing through the airport increase by ten per cent, whilst the national average was just over two per cent, with Mallorca showing negative figures. She continued that the publicity campaigns this year would be concentrating on the ‘other face’ of tourism, especially the natural beauty of the island, as well as the various sports activities on offer and, more importantly, the ‘Slow Breaks’, out of season programme, aimed at the national market.
The Govern will be investing €800,000 on the stand at ‘Fitur’, which will be split into four sections to cover the four islands, with each area having a large screen to allow the projection of publicity images. More than €2million will be invested in the three major tourist fairs, Madrid, Berlin and London.
The marine biologist, Pierre-Yves Cousteau, son of the legendary Jacques, will be on hand to promote Formentera at the Madrid fair, and will take part in a round table conference to publicize the sporting events which will be held next year on the island. San Antonio will be presenting the Town as a sports destination; for example the Ruta de la Sal yacht race, the round-the-island mountain bicycle competition, the Nordic walking event, or the Euroibiza tournament, in which university students from thirteen different countries will be participating, with competitors from the most prestigious universities and business schools in Europe, Africa and the Middle East with the intention to promote sports and to stimulate the practice of sports in a university environment