Tue, Apr 28, 2009 - Page 4 News List

COMMUNITY COMPASS: Tourism fair turns spotlight on the splendors of Spain



The Taipei-based Spanish Chamber of Commerce (CCE) held a tourism fair last Wednesday inviting 200 local travel agents to explore the diversity of Spain’s tourism with the aim of increasing the number of visitors from Taiwan.

CCE director-general Jose-Luis Lamas said the fair was designed not only to promote Spain as a tourist destination for Taiwanese people but also to increase their awareness and knowledge of the country.


Ignacio Ducasse, director of the Spanish Tourism Office in Tokyo — which covers Spain’s tourism business in Japan, Taiwan and South Korea — said that while 90 percent of Spain’s tourists come from Europe, the country wants to boost numbers of visitors from further afield.

“We believe that in Taiwan we have strong potential for attracting visitors to Spain. For that reason, Taiwan is a very important market for us,” Ducasse said.

Ducasse said that compared with other Asian countries, Taiwan has one of the highest numbers of travelers to Spain, with an average of 30,000 per year, a number that has been growing steadily over the past decade.

While Taiwanese are familiar with Spain for its culture, art, sports, fashion and food, Spain has much more to offer, he said.


Maria-Luisa Fernandez, deputy director of new markets for Spain’s Institute of Tourism, said Spain is a “green, sunny and modern tourist destination.”

The country also has a rich cultural legacy with some 40 historic sites and 13 cities declared as UNESCO world heritage sites, she said.

These include the Alhambra in Granada, the architectural legacy of Antoni Gaudi in Barcelona and El Escorial in Madrid.

The tourism fair provided travel agents with the latest tourist information and will help them organize various kinds of tourist itineraries for Taiwanese customers, Fernandez said.


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