Promotions Pay Off As Tourist Figures Look Set To Rise
Menorca ‘Promobus’ Update
The Menorcan Roadshow ‘Warm at Heart’ set out on its 15-day tour of the U.K. on the last day of February, bringing a taste of the island to the public and tour operators in eleven different locations in Scotland and England.
The first stop was the Thomas Cook Call Centre in Falkirk where some 200 travel agents visited the mobile promotion to learn about the island at first hand, then it was on to the Braehead Shopping Centre in Glasgow and Newcastle’s Metro Shopping Centre to target the public in general.The next call was Briggate in Leeds where around 1,100 people visited the “Warm at Heart” promotion, seeing images of the island on large screens set up in the vehicle and receiving information on accommodation, activities etc. available in Menorca. A professional workshop was set up at Leeds-Bradford airport for Jet2.com’s travel agents and aircrew. Central sites in the cities of Manchester and Liverpool were the next locations chosen to attract would-be tourists and personnel at the Monarch/Cosmos office in Stockport were given a virtual tour of the island.
The promobus spent two days in Birmingham where it was visited by more than 1,200 people interested in what the island has to offer holidaymakers, before moving on to Bristol and Kent and finally, after more than 1,000 kilometres, the TUI office in Crawley, West Sussex.
It is estimated that 11,500 people visited the roadshow and that news of the tour was read by 49,500 people in the regional press. The total cost of the campaign was €180,000. The Menorcan tourism authorities are convinced that the promotion was a success and plan to repeat the experience in the UK next year and maybe extend it to tours in France and Germany.
Real Time island Images on Internet
The website www.menorca.es is showing real time images of nineteen points of view in Menorca taken by webcams. Eleven cameras have been set up, eight of which show two views, and transmit images every ten minutes. All but two also include meteorological stations which provide information on temperature, rainfall, humidity, atmospheric pressure and wind direction and strength. Various hotels and restaurants, Ciutadella Council, the Bishopric of Menorca and the Naval Base have collaborated in the €45,421 project to promote the island on the Internet.
Thumbs Up From German Tourists
Holiday bookings for Menorca have seen an increase of around 50% in Germany, in comparison with the same time last year, according to the Councillor for Tourism, Lázaro Criado. He believes this is due to the island becoming more widely known in Germany through attendance at trade fairs and agreements made with tour operators. He also feels that the island suits the average German tourist, offering nature, countryside, outdoor activities (such as walking, trekking, horse riding and cycling) and little in the way of mass construction. An improvement in the country’s economic situation and continuing uncertainty in North African countries has no doubt also contributed. The number of German tourists has diminished over the past ten years by an annual average number of 11,700 visitors. However, last year saw a total of 56,000 Germans visit the island, an increase of around 9,000 on 2008’s figure.
Other Markets Follow Suit
The Portuguese market is also being targeted, with a Menorca stand at the BTL fair and workshops held in March in Lisbon and Oporto.
The number of seats available on flights between France and Menorca during the high season has more than tripled for this year, rising from 2,200 to 8,640. Air Nostrum will connect the island to Nice and Marseilles and EasyJet is to start operating three flights per week to Paris.
Holiday reservations in the UK have also risen slightly compared to last year, and it is hoped that the figures this year will show an improvement on 2010 when a total of 1.1 million holidaymakers visited the island. This was around 49,000 more than in the previous year, and both the hotel occupancy rate and average length of holiday increased.
‘The Sun’ shines on Menorca
Menorca received a shining write-up in The Sun newspaper on Saturday 5 March. Written by Marianna Longmire following a visit to the island, the article highlights the island’s heritage and the wide choice of quality restaurants, including local specialities and the creative menus of Marivent and Alcaufar Vell.
In addition to mentioning Ciutadella and Maó, the article focuses on some of the many activities available to holidaymakers, such as kayaking and horse-riding, and a visit to Son Martorellet Stables is recommended. Other attractions included the Binifadet vineyard, Xoriguer Gin Distillery, Cami de Cavals and the Cova d'en Xoroi, not forgetting the ‘scrummy pomada’!
The island seemed to made a deep and favourable impression on the writer who ‘can’t wait to come back’.
Text: Sam Jasper
Photo: “Menorca” newspaper