Cultural and tourist agents linked to the Pilgrim’s Way to Santiago meet to prepare for Xacobeo 21
The Minister of Culture and Tourism chaired a meeting with the main public and private agents of the city towards the planning of the next Holy Year
The conselleiro of Culture and Tourism, Román Rodríguez, accompanied by the director of the Axencia Turismo de Galicia, Nava Castro, held a meeting with fifty public and private agents representing the various fields of the capital among which were also representatives of the Galician Tourism Cluster with the aim of advancing in the main challenges that will involve the celebration of the next Holy Year. In this sense, the conselleiro encouraged to promote measures that, with a view to the Xacobeo 2021, strengthen the goal of the Camino de Santiago as a better place to visit and live, with special interest in the diversification of flows around the Cathedral and the expansion of tourist circuits revaluing the resources of the whole of Santiago de Compostela.
Román Rodríguez also advanced that the Xunta will carry out an analysis by university professionals in order to make Compostela a better city to visit but also to live in, reinforcing Santiago de Compostela as a quality destination.
“The Xacobeo 21 can be a turning point for Santiago de Compostela, which must recover the best of itself and still has an enormous unknown potential that the Holy Year has to help us to revalue and share,” said the conselleiro. “We want a Xacobeo that leaves its mark and has repercussions on the development of Galicia but with its sights also set on 1 January 2022”, he pointed out, stressing that the organisation of this great event must be done with vision and foresight. In this sense, it will promote tourism between different profiles of visitors and the distribution of tourists throughout the year. It also stresses the need to promote the dispersion of visitors both inside and outside the city and measure and monitor tourism.
Incidentally, Roman Rodriguez said that the Xunta asked the central government for a State Statistics Plan to improve sources of information and advanced the conduct of an analysis by university professionals, coordinated by Professor Anton Alvarez Sousa, coordinator of the Master in Planning and Management of Tourist Destinations and Products. The main objective expressed by the conselleiro is the achievement of measures to put into practice in the coming years.
“We believe it is a priority to design a strategy that is capable of managing tourism through measures such as the dispersion of visitors from the centre to other areas, boosting new itineraries, boosting less frequented places and encouraging deseasonalisation”, said the conselleiro about the design of a new tourist and cultural space that takes into account the entire offer of the city and its surroundings, incorporating and boosting the xacobean footprint, museums, religious and civil heritage, City of Culture, University, commerce, crafts, festivals, nature or food and wine resources.
The 3rd edition of Fairway concludes with an increase in contacts, public and exhibition space and is consolidated as a necessary space for the international promotion of the Pilgrim’s Way to Santiago de Compostela.
The III Forum and Congress of the Pilgrim’s Way to Santiago closed doors with general satisfaction among the public and the organization, which highlighted the increase in exhibitors as well as in the number of participants and professional meetings held. The Fair specialized in the Way of Saint James, which was held in Santiago de Compostela, is thus consolidated in its third edition as a necessary meeting point for the international promotion of the Way of Saint James.
Almost 2,000 professional meetings with 35 companies from 15 countries took place throughout the fair’s workshop, in which more than a hundred companies took part and offered their services. In addition, the fair was completed with more than a hundred exhibitors and a congress in which almost fifty speakers participated. All of this demonstrates the interest in the Pilgrim’s Way to Santiago and the consolidation of Fairway, which has brought together numerous actors involved in the promotion, conservation and marketing of the Pilgrim’s Way to Santiago.
Once again, the Cluster Tourism of Galicia has also been present at the fair, as it has done in the two previous editions, through a stand which has offered information about the entity and the products developed, in addition to supporting companies and associated entities that have also been present at the fair as the Association of Guides of Galicia, Agalber, Asnauga, Solpor or CMAT.
There was also space for training, in the Academy space, where presentations were made on tourism marketing and online reputation. Likewise, the third edition of the Forum del Camino consolidates itself as the ideal framework for presenting new tourist projects and products, both public and private, linked to the Pilgrim’s Way, whether they are consolidated products or potential products, through the Invest programme, an initiative that was born in this edition of Fairway with the desire to encourage entrepreneurship. Gato Studio, a company from A Coruña, was the one that managed to win the 5,000 euros prize awarded to the winning project.
7 days, 70.5 €/night and 4 people: this is the profile of the Spanish tourist travelling to Galicia
Galicia is among the 10 most sought after destinations in 2018 by Spanish travellers.
1 out of every 3 travellers has looked for houses to stay during their holidays and 30%, accommodation with swimming pool.
National tourism continues to have a great weight in the Spanish tourism sector as a whole, especially in destinations such as Galicia, where this segment continues to be a determining factor in the final balance of annual tourism, despite the great advances made in internationalisation. According to INE data analysed by HomeToGo, the online search platform for holiday accommodation that brings together a total of 22,139 establishments from 48 different suppliers in Spain, the majority of these trips took place within the national territory, with Madrid, Cadiz and Valencia being the most sought-after destinations last year by Spanish travellers.
In this analysis of trends, Galicia ranks as the tenth most sought after destination by Spanish tourists and the second cheapest place to stay, with an average of 70 € / night. For this destination, houses have been the preferred accommodation for 30% of travelers, followed by rural houses (27%) and apartments (16%).
The swimming pool has been, as expected, one of the most popular filters among Spanish tourists. Specifically, one in three tourists (30%) has sought holiday accommodation with a swimming pool. In addition, the results show that Spaniards like to travel with their pets, so much so that 28% of users sought accommodation suitable for pets. As for the way to travel, Spanish tourists who travel to Galicia do so in groups of 4 people for a total of 7 days.
How is the profile of tourists in the Galician provinces?
A Coruña is the province where Spanish tourists travel for a greater number of days (8 days) and have a higher average budget (75 €/night). On the contrary, travellers who chose Ourense do so for a total of 4 days and spend an average of 67 €/night, a budget very similar to that of tourists travelling to Pontevedra (69 €/night) although the stay is longer (7.8 days). Lugo stands out for being the province where travellers have the lowest average budget (47 €/night).
The most popular type of accommodation and the most demanded services are very similar for the four provinces. Rural houses and houses are the favorite accommodations for most travelers, except in La Coruña where apartments have been the most sought after. The swimming pool and the accommodations that admit pets are the most used filters in the four provinces.
HomeToGo has analysed the travel trends of Spanish and European tourists in 2018. In order to obtain information on how, where and how much Spaniards have travelled, all the searches carried out on HomeToGo.es between 01.01.18 and 31.12.18 have been analysed, allowing its users to compare the offers of well-known tourist portals such as Booking, HomeAway or TripAdvisor. When defining the profile of the Spanish tourist, the average prices of the most sought-after accommodations, the average number of overnight stays and the number of people travelled with in 2018 were taken into account.
Hundreds of thousands of user searches from Spain, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, Austria and Switzerland have been taken into account to collect data on European travellers. HometoGo is a German parent company but currently has more than 150 employees is present in 13 European countries as well as in Russia, Australia, Mexico, Brazil and the United States.
The Xunta renews its commitment to the Q brand of Quality in tourism services with an investment of 450 thousand euros for this year
With the goal of ending 2019 with a minimum of 229 establishments, the Xunta will allocate an item of 450 thousand euros to promote the Q mark of quality in tourist establishments and services in Galicia, an investment to be carried out under the agreement between the Ministry of Culture, through the Galician Tourism Agency, and the Galician Tourism Cluster. Through three years, the agreement seeks to establish the basis for collaboration for the implementation, dissemination and promotion of tourism services in Galicia, with the Q mark for Quality Tourism through support for companies that are registered in the Register of Business and Tourism Activities (REAT) of the Xunta.
As in previous occasions, the support to the tourist companies will materialize in advising by means of its preparation to be in conditions to surpass the external audit that is necessary to later obtain the Q of tourist quality. In addition to advising the companies registered in the REAT so that they reach the certification of the Quality Q mark, the Galician Tourism Business Cluster undertakes to obtain a minimum of 20 new certified companies and to help the maintenance of the entities.
The investment foreseen by the Xunta will be distributed in expenses of external technical assistance for the coordination of the actions, for which 15,000 euros will be destined every year, and the impulse in the attainment of new certifications and the follow-up and renovation of the already existing ones, with 405,000 euros distributed in three exercises. This new agreement is part of the Galicia 2020 Tourism Strategy, which establishes quality as a differentiating factor for tourism companies and constitutes an essential line of action in the new way of approaching the competitive strategy of the Galician tourism sector.
With 282 distinctions, nine more than in 2017, Galicia is the second autonomous community in this type of certification in 2018. In addition, Galicia is also the community with the most certified hotels in Spain and leader in nautical-sports facilities with Q Quality in Spain and in distinguished rural tourism establishments.
Galicia, third community with the best tourist forecast for 2019
The business balance for 2018 and prospects for 2019 of Exceltur highlights the work done by Galicia and the good business outlook for 2019, despite a foreseeable slowdown in tourism.
When we still know the latest balance figures for 2018, which has closed with a new record in the arrival of foreign travelers to Spain with 82.8 million visitors, almost one million more tourists than in 2017, representing growth of 1.1% over last year, the sector is already looking at the prospect of this 2019. And, according to Exceltur, does so with optimism but with a view to the recovery of competitors in the Mediterranean.
According to the 2018 balance report and tourism prospects for 2019 prepared by Exceltur, a non-profit association made up of 23 of the most important companies in the entire tourism value chain, this year, from the point of view of the tourism sector, will be marked by the effect of the recovery of competitors and the economic slowdown expected for traditional markets in Spain, with the unknown Brexit, and good prospects for medium and long distance markets favored by the multiplication of air connections. The economic context of deceleration expected for Spanish households also suggests a lower dynamism in spending associated with tourist travel in 2019 for Spanish families, slowing part of the growth experienced in 2018.
Despite the uncertainty, there is a generalized positive tone in the business forecasts for the tourist year 2019. The Exceltur report also highlights the effort made by communities in the interior, Galicia and Valencia, which commented “have bet in recent years for the repositioning and reinvention of product and the diversification of markets, strengthening the loyalty of internal demand and a greater presence of international demand”.
In this context, Galicia ranks as the third region with the highest forecast of increased sales, only behind Extremadura and Madrid, with an estimated increase of 3.6%. Profits are in fourth place, close to 3%. And the communities that led the improvement in results in 2018 were those of the interior: Castilla-La Mancha, which increased its results by +4.8%, Navarra +3.6%, Extremadura +2.4% and Aragon +2.2%, according to data collected by the survey of Tourist Business Climate conducted by Exceltur, while in Green Spain Galicia closes a positive balance with increases in business results of +1.9%, as well as the Basque Country +1.0%. These data contrast with those obtained by other Autonomous Communities such as the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands or Catalonia, which closed the year in negative territory.
Opening of professional contacts with Miami and New York in the framework of the institutional trip of the Xunta.
The Galician delegation, in which the Galician Tourism Cluster was present, participated in a dozen professional meetings specifically oriented to the contract and tourism sector.
The meetings linked to tourism and the contract sector (furniture and interior design for hotels and offices) had a great weight in most of the professional meetings that took place during the Xunta de Galicia’s institutional trip to Miami and New York, which was the first institutional trip of President Núñez Feijóo to Miami. The agenda had a marked economic character and a great tourist weight, from there the presence in the trip of the conselleiro of Industry, Francisco Conde, or the person in charge of Tourism, Nava Castro. The Galician delegation was completed with those responsible for the main Galician ports, a representation of the Tourism Cluster and a business delegation from the contract sector. They all participated in a dozen meetings with which the Xunta seeks to open avenues of business in North America, in addition to promoting the upcoming celebration of Xacobeo 2021.
Precisely the celebration of this next milestone was one of the aspects addressed during the meetings with the mayor of Miami-Dade County, Carlos A. Giménez, who announced that he plans to visit Galicia next June as part of a trip through Europe. Meetings were also held with the Galician communities and with the chambers of commerce of Miami and New York, as well as a visit to the port of Miami to promote the Holy Year 2021 and spoke of the possibility of opening routes with Vigo, A Coruña or Ferrol.
There was also a meeting with directors of Miami Airport, the first one in international flights from the USA and the third one of cargo, to which the interest was transferred so that some airline could establish a direct flight for the Holy Year (Xacobeo). The agenda of contacts was completed with contacts with large hotel groups such as Ritz Carlton and Marriott and with the visit to New York, where cultural activities gained more weight, with the signing of a collaboration agreement between the Department of Culture and Tourism and the Institute of Fine Arts of New York, for the organization of the symposium ‘Imaginando el Camino de Santiago: itineraries, narrations, maps and visions’.