Heritage, nature, oenogastronomy and thermalism are the differentiating factors summarised in “OU”.
Two letters, OU, are the symbol of the new brand and tourism strategy designed by the Diputación de Ourense through Inorde (Instituto Ourensán de Desenvolvemento Económico) to promote the province. This was announced by the heads of both agencies during an event held on 2 November at the Castle of Monterrei with the presence of fifty institutional and business representatives, and it is already being shown at Xantar, the international gastronomic tourism fair being held these days at the Expourense exhibition centre.
Heritage, nature, oenogastronomy and spas are the four great strengths of Ourense’s tourism offer that are summarised in the OU brand, while sustainability, digitisation, tourism intelligence and competitive transformation are the four pillars on which the tourism strategy has been built. The imminent arrival in Ourense of the high-speed railway, its consequent consolidation as a major gateway to Galicia and its proximity to Madrid, one of the most important proximity markets, are the factors driving the development of this initiative with which, in the words of the president of the Provincial Council, Manuel Baltar, Ourense wants to express its tourist vocation, synthesise its identity and show that it is a genuine province capable of preserving its authenticity.
The new brand also aims to bring together the entire provincial tourism sector and contribute to shore up and strengthen the good occupancy figures recorded during last summer. The almost 130,000 tourists who visited Ourense during the months of June, July, August and September represent the fourth best figure in history. In addition, the province even surpassed the figures for overnight stays in rural tourism prior to the pandemic. The 72 assets of cultural interest in the province, the two official routes of the Way of St. James that cross it, its 21 protected natural areas, the festivals of tourist interest, the designations of origin and wine routes, the 63 itineraries of scenic interest, the 4 mountain bike centres promoted by Turismo de Galicia and the 7 spas are some of the attractions that the Provincial Council hopes to promote with the new brand.
Regarding the strategy, the manager of Inorde, Emma González, explained that the lines of action set out respond to the demand for sustainable tourism with measures such as a plan to redistribute the flow of visitors throughout the provincial territory. A commitment to quality is also planned, facilitating the certification of small and medium-sized companies, and to digitalisation, developing a smart platform, mobile applications, a guide with interactive content and other tools that improve the visitor experience while making it possible to improve planning and management.