Easter Celebrations highlighted at FITUR

Town Hall officials from across the region spent last week in Madrid at the country’s largest Tourism Fair to promote the Costa Blanca and all it has to offer.

Tourism is the country’s biggest industry and the FITUR 2011 event is always one of the best and most well attended of its kind anywhere in the world. The PP Mayor of Orihuela, Monica Lorente, attended the event alongside the Councillor for Culture, Pepa Ferrando, and other members of her government team, all of whom were keen to show off Orihuela’s attractions to the dignitaries of the global travel and tourism world.

Ms Lorente was keen to emphasise that Orihuela should be seen as an international destination thanks to the attractions that the municipality has to offer, such as its fantastic beaches, the four championship golf courses, the city’s historical heritage and its religious celebrations such as the Semana Santa, which is classed as one of the best events in Spain and has been recognised as being of International Interest to Tourists, alongside the events in Seville and Zamora.

The Valencian Councillor for Tourism, Belen Juste and the President of the Alicante Provincial Diputacion, Joaquin Ripoll, accompanied the Orihuela team to show their support and more than 200 members of the Orihuela Semana Santa Association also went to Madrid to represent the city. “This is a special day for Orihuela,” commented the PP Mayor, “and we could not do it without the support and representation of the great Orihuela Semana Santa family. Thanks to their efforts, the city’s tourist appeal has been sealed at FITUR.”

The President of the Orihuela Semana Santa Association, Eduardo Ferrández, thanked the Orihuela Town Hall for the opportunity to be able to promote the Easter celebrations in such a unique way and indicated that the preparations for the event will start in earnest from that day and will continue until the end of the celebrations.

It was also announced that an agreement has been made between the Alicante Diputation and the PP led Orihuela Town Hall that means that the provincial administration will subsidise the Semana Santa celebrations. “This year, Orihuela’s Semana Santa begins in January, here at FITUR,” commented Eduardo Ferrández.

Valencian Tourism Councillor, Belen Juste, praised the Orihuela Semana Santa Association and the Town Hall for their hard work in making the excellent presentation at the FITUR exhibition and congratulated them on its truly international appeal, adding that she is looking forward to witnessing the celebrations first hand in April.

Following the Semana Santa presentation, the Orihuela contingency then focussed on another great event which will be taking place in the municipality later this year, the Vuelta a España.

Orihuela Mayor, Monica Lorente, commented, “For the second consecutive year, organisers of this great sporting event have chosen Orihuela as a venue. On 21st August, the coastline of Orihuela will be the setting for the final of the second stage of this challenging cycle race.” She added: “The whole of the Orihuela will enjoy this event and businesses especially will benefit commercially from this great celebration of sport. As it takes place during the high season, the area will be inundated with tourists from all over Spain, Europe and the rest of the world; it will be a great way to showcase the Orihuela Costa.”

She concluded, “Orihuela is unique as we can offer everything to the discerning traveller; golf, sun, beaches, celebrations, gastronomical delights and this year, Semana Santa celebrations that will not be rivalled. Orihuela offers quality tourism and I am proud to offer that within this international showcase.”

Tourism Torrevieja

Torrevieja was also in attendance at the country’s largest International Travel and Tourism Show in Madrid and gave the city the chance to show it’s new autonomous body which has been created to promote and enhance tourism.

Mayor Pedro Hernández Mateo said ‘Turismo de Torrevieja’ had been adopted as there was a need to strengthen local policy in relation to tourism, something the city so strongly relies on. ‘Tourism Torrevieja’ is an ambitious new strategy which will focus on promoting Torrevieja as a top tourist destination and develop sectors of tourism within the city.

Visitors to the exhibition were treated to a spectacular display stand showing photographs of the city; particular attention was paid to the new Sports City and its cultural and health offerings. Another side of the stand showed the head of a sperm whale recovered by the Museum of Natural History in Torrevieja, while another presents a montage of water and coloured lights associated with the La Mata Natural Park.