O Grove has been selected as the most 'pet-friendly' place in our country

O Grove has been selected as the most ‘pet-friendly’ place in our country

The specialized tour operator Travelguau has designated O Grove as the most pet-friendly municipality in our country in 2019, which means that the Galician municipality is considered the best destination for travelling with dogs.

At the same Travelguau Awards, the self-published book “Buen Camino Perregrino”, the first guide to successfully plan the Way of Saint James if you are planning to do it with your dog, written by Mercè Jiménez after completing the French Way from Roncesvalles with Futt, her four-legged companion, was also chosen as the best pet-friendly book. The list of winners is completed by Sos Torrencito as the best pet-friendly establishment; Bankia as the best pet-friendly company; Daniel Sánchez Arévalo for his commitment to pets; Simbiosis+ as the best initiative for responsible pet ownership and SOS PPP-Los Barrios as the best NGO.

These awards are the result of a popular vote by users of the online portal after which a jury was responsible for crowning the municipality of Pontevedra as the best destination for being “a peninsula located in the Rias Baixas, in the region of O Salnés, which has been a pioneer in the creation of dog beaches and currently has two, as are O Espiño and O Portiño, which each year receive more and more visitors, becoming a national reference for this type of public.

The aim of making this type of ranking, after which the town will receive a physical award in the coming days at the fair Fitur, is “to recognize the work of companies, public and private entities that strive to make our world a little more friendly to our pets, as well as encourage the relationship with them from the respect and coexistence with the environment, providing new spaces for development that meet the needs of people with companion animals from a sustainable point of view,” explained from Travelguau.

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Exceltur anticipates growth for this year similar to that of 2019 although it is cautious about the progressive cooling of the sector's growth

Exceltur anticipates growth for this year similar to that of 2019 although it is cautious about the progressive cooling of the sector’s growth

80% of Galician businessmen expect to improve results this year, benefiting from the next celebration of Xacobeo in 2021, although with less intensity, according to this survey

The latest report published by the Spanish tourism employers’ association, Exceltur, includes the final balance sheet for 2019 and the sector’s prospects for this start of the year. In this sense, the business survey reflects the consolidation of the slowdown in the growth of tourism activity detected in 2019, which grows to +1.5%, below the dynamism of the Spanish economy (+2.0%) for the second consecutive year.

The destinations of the communities of Green Spain close 2019 in positive, with significant increases in income, favored by the strong increase in foreign demand, which allows them all to close the year with improved results and income: Galicia (+2.8% in results),
Cantabria (+1.1%), Basque Country (+1.2%) and Asturias (+0.3%). In its combination, the sector has managed to maintain its capacity to generate employment, despite the decline in productivity and the increase in labour costs, one of the biggest concerns for employers this coming year.

In this regard, and looking ahead to 2020, the sector highlights the weakness in economic growth although, overall, employers are confident that they will continue to increase their revenues (+3.1%) and sales (+3.9%) by 2020, with a slight recovery in prices (+3.0%) and more moderate job creation (+2.3%) than that recorded in
2019 (+3,5%). In the particular case of Galician businessmen, they are confident that their results will be improved by the next Xacobeo celebration in 2021, although with less intensity (+1.6%) and almost 80% expect an improvement in sales and income next year.

In this context, Exceltur anticipates for 2020 an extension of the cooling path of the tourism GDP growth rate, maintaining a +1.5% rate for the year-end, similar to the one registered in 2019. With the arrival of the new government, it is also necessary to promote a new State tourism roadmap and policy, a new public-private governance that strengthens the investment capacity in supply improvements, progress in digitalization, addressing environmental challenges and pursuing greater citizen empathy.

In terms of destinations, as the weakness of European markets such as Germany or the United Kingdom continues to grow, the weight of local and long-distance markets is increasing. The report also covers the problems of airport connectivity and the need to continue to make progress in complying with the rules relating to VUTs

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Open call for adhesion to the new season of FEST Galicia, which increases by 31% the allocation for festival sponsorship

Open call for adhesion to the new season of FEST Galicia, which increases by 31% the allocation for festival sponsorship

Culture and Tourism increases to 460,000 euros the amount destined to the contracts with the events associated to the brand

Until February 2nd is open the deadline to apply for membership of the third season of Fest Galicia, which this year has a budget increase of up to 460 thousand euros, 31% more than last year, with the aim of promoting quality musical events.

The joint resolution of Agadic and the Regional Ministry of Culture and Tourism also incorporates new requirements that must be met by the festivals that apply to join the program, among which is the inclusion of a minimum of six Galician artists and the need for an equality and sustainability plan. Applicants must also meet a series of other conditions relating to their budget and financial solvency, programming and ticket sales, reduction of environmental impact or compliance with regulations on public performances, among others. Musical events must also take place between 1 June and 30 September this year and applications must be submitted through the Xunta de Galicia’s electronic headquarters (procedure code: CT302La).

Sponsorship contracts
The economic support will materialize in the signing of sponsorship contracts with the events that meet a series of criteria defined in the joint resolution of the Galician Agency for Cultural Industries (Agadic) and Tourism of Galicia. This new call for proposals is a continuation of this initiative of the Xunta to promote music tourism in accordance with criteria of quality, sustainability and social responsibility.

The aim of FEST Galicia is to promote sustainable music tourism, led by festivals that are strategic for our Community within a transversal initiative involving several departments of the Xunta de Galicia. Last year, 12 musical events from the four provinces were presented under this brand.


The Portuguese Way along the Coast to be examined through the Facendo Camiño project in Proturga

The Portuguese Way along the Coast to be examined through the Facendo Camiño project in Proturga

Facendo Camiño, a project to raise awareness, highlight and analyse the Way of Saint James, analyses a section of this route, within the framework of the Xunta de Galicia’s “O teu Xacobeo” programme

Professionals from different areas of the tourism sector are participating this week in a Proturga initiative to analyse and highlight the different routes of the Way of Saint James, Facendo Camiño. Within the framework of its project “O Teu Xacobeo”, Proturga has been developing since last November different conferences with professionals from the sector that serve as familiarisation trips to provide knowledge and improve the capacities of these professionals as future prescribers of the Way of Saint James.

After the conferences held around the English and Portuguese Way, this month of January is the turn for the Portuguese Way along the Coast, which will take place on January 16th through a program that will start in Baiona with a visit to the historical center and the Casa de la Navegación and then move on to neighboring Oia and enjoy its monastery. In the afternoon, the transfer will take place to the Portuguese town of Caminha, taking the ferry to A Guarda to walk later following the rhythms of the sea.

The objective is to see the richness and variety of the area as a complementary tourist offer for the walker and to be able to study a path that experienced a meteoric increase of pilgrims in the last years. To end the day, the participating tourism professionals, who have come from different backgrounds (accommodation, restaurants, travel agencies, tour guides, tourism technicians, tourism office staff and consultants, among others) will share their views, highlighting the strengths and also those aspects to be improved.

Until May, these familiarisation trips will continue in 10 sections of the 10 routes that make up the Way of Saint James. Galician tourism professionals will take part in these trips and will get to know in situ the star product of the community and analyse the state of the route and the resources and services on each of the routes within the framework of the O Teu Xacobeo programme, financed by the Xunta de Galicia.


The tourism sector in the north has denounced the aggravation of railway "discrimination" in these territories

The tourism sector in the north has denounced the aggravation of railway “discrimination” in these territories

On the other hand, the Galician airport network ends with a record number of passengers, with increases in the terminals of Alvedro and Lavacolla

The hotel and tourism associations of Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria and the Basque Country, members of the business platform called ‘La fuerza del norte’ denounce “the unacceptable discrimination” suffered by the area in terms of the development of rail communication. The document made public by this entity highlights the precarious situation in which these territories that do not have a high-speed rail connection with Madrid find themselves, at the same time as they demand the new government to implement an active policy for the development of these infrastructures in the north of the peninsula.

Nor do the hotel and catering employers’ associations hide their misgivings about the recent situation regarding the sale of tickets between León and Madrid or the delays and technical problems that have occurred in other sections, such as Madrid-Gijón, while complaining that this type of action negatively affects the economic activity and development of the whole of northern Spain and, in particular, the tourist industry, which, they point out, “has become a top-level resource in terms of employment and wealth creation, especially when the metal and electro-intensive industry is going through a worrying situation”. The generated confusion affects the planning of trips and tourist packages, they consider from the sector, where they qualify of “hurtful” that while the north crosses this railway situation, “in other regions of Spain are starting up high speed railway lines ‘low cost'”, in reference to the service called AVLO. “It is pertinent to remember the unacceptable discrimination that suffers the north in the development of the communications”, they affirm.

“It is essential that the Government applies a policy to solve once and for all and in a definitive way the historical lack of a railway transport of the 21st century”, they state from this entity, at the same time that they emphasize that these territories have also problems in the rest of their transport systems, both by road and by plane.

Record number of passengers at airports
Despite the Galician airport connections, which are often scarce and expensive, as recalled in “La Fuerza del Norte”, 2019 has become the record year in the use of the Galician air network, closing with 5.26 million passengers, the result of the sum of the passengers who used the three Galician terminals. In the cases of Lavacolla and Alvedro, the figure reached was the highest in their history, with 2.9 million passengers, 6.5% more than the previous year, in the case of the terminal in Compostela, and 1.35 million passengers, a figure that shatters the record set by the terminal in Herculean in 2007, in the case of La Coruña. Alvedro thus increased by 10.3% over the previous year and is now the 20th Spanish airport, while Lavacolla is the 16th terminal in Aena’s network in terms of traffic, with Menorca having fewer than 600,000 passengers. Peinador, by contrast, lost 10.4% compared to 2018, with 117,418 fewer passengers, mainly as a result of the loss of Ryanair.


Participation in Fitur by the Galician Tourism Cluster

Participation in Fitur by the Galician Tourism Cluster

Once again this entity will manage the business space within the stand of Galicia at the International Tourism Fair, the first major event of the year for the tourism sector

On Wednesday, the CTG will also make a presentation of the balance sheet and tourism prospects for 2020

The Tourism Cluster will manage one more year the business space of the stand that Galicia will maintain at the International Tourism Fair, Fitur 2020, which will take place in Madrid, from the 22nd to the 26th of January. Within the space managed by the Xunta de Galica, 12 tables will be made available to professionals from the Galician tourism sector, where they will be able to hold meetings with tour operators, upon request.

In this sense, the e-mail account has been enabled so that they can request reservations for the tables, indicating their company and the operator with whom they are going to meet. We have established 30-minute time slots for each meeting. In addition, at the fair itself, professionals will have two people at their disposal who will manage these appointments and control the tables.

Presentation of the CTG

As well as holding a series of meetings with entities, authorities and professionals from the tourism sector, the Galician Tourism Cluster will also be the protagonist of one of the presentations to be held at the Galicia stand. The presentation of the CTG, to be held on Wednesday 22nd, will be entitled “Boosting the tourism sector in 2019 and future prospects”.