The Councilor for Tourism, Sofía Álvarez, announced a significant growth in the number of visitors to the municipality compared to 2016, an increase of 20%.
“Special importance has been attached by the Council to the poet Miguel Hernández in the year in which we have commemorated the 75th anniversary of his death,” she said, “publicising his life and his works throughout Spain. We have also attended the International Tourism Fair of Madrid (FITUR) where there was a presentation of his work “The Labrador de más aire”, by the local theatre group Teatro Expresión “.
Álvarez also highlighted the four Hernandian routes that the Department introduced on a monthly basis throughout the year, “at which almost a thousand people have been able to participate.”
The Moors and Christians Festivities have also contributed to the growth of tourism as has the Oriolan Holy Week, which was declared of International Tourist Interest, and has also been promoted throughout Spain.
In addition to the festivities, regional gastronomy has played an important part with many different activities throughout the year. There have been tastings and gastronomic, such as the I Ruta de la Tapa de Entrenaranjos, which will have a second edition next year, and the V edition of the Ruta de la Tapa and the Gin-tonic in Orihuela, “With more than twenty thousand tapas sold in a weekend,” Álvarez reported.
Cultural Tours have been conducted in Spanish, English and French, in which more than 370 groups have participated.
Similarly, the Department of Tourism has promoted of the coast and the beaches of Orihuela which, earlier in the year, were awarded 9 blue flags, positioning it as the second city of Spain with more distinctive quality.
In the latest beach satisfaction study, conducted in the summer season from June to September 2017, the results reflect a rise of up to nine points in the Satisfaction index of the users surveyed regarding the data collected the previous summer.
The councillor joined with her colleague, the councillor for Beaches, Luisa Boné, in making the announcement on Tuesday.
Boné said that “it is the first time that Spanish tourists have assessed the beaches as satisfactory. The tendency to date is that foreign tourists usually provide us with a higher rating”.
In the analysis, the best ratings were achieved at the beaches of Punta Prima and Mil Palmeras, while the best valued services were the information panels, the flags, and the lifeguard and police surveillance, with similar values in all of them.
As for the tourism product, Álvarez said that 73% of beach users selected the Orihuela Costa for its sun and beach conditions, shopping 55%, gastronomy 42%, golf 38% and hotel accommodation 30%.
The recommendations proposed by both tourists and residents who participated in these surveys, ranged from the improvement of cleaning in general, and specifically in walkways and sand, a greater number of playgrounds, water and leisure activities, activity classes, improvement of accessibility and equipment for those who are less able on the beaches.
Both councillors say that they are already studying the recommendations with the intention of their implementation next summer.