April 2017 News Headlines

Home Grown Ikea

April 27th
The furniture maker Azpeitia Lufe, has gone viral on account of its very low priced furniture kits (a bed for 30€). The kits can be bought only over the Internet and the pine wood is either natural, varnished or painted white. The strategy of quality, but simple furniture, sold only on-line and made of local products have given the company the nickname of being the "Basque Ikea". «All our furniture is made of solid pine wood with ecological certification, obtained in sustainable native forests. They are ecological and resistant woods. See their website on: https://muebleslufe.com/ . From: El Diario VascoEl Diario Vasco

A delegation of Chinese tourism agents visits Xàbia

April 20th
A delegation of agents from the OTS of Canton is visiting the province of Alicante to learn the quality and variety of its tourism offering firsthand. The Patronato Costa Blanca organized this important trip in an attempt to position the destination within one of the most powerful Asian markets. Alicante, Altea, Xàbia , Dénia and Xaló are being toured by the group. In addition, they will taste Mediterranean food typical of the area, appreciate the quality of the hotels and experience activities such as to the Fish Market in Dénia and wine and liquor tasting in the winery of Xaló. In the case of Xàbia, the Chinese agents visited the church of San Bartolomé and its origin as fortress and also the facilities of the National Parador of Tourism. Although the Chinese represent a small percentage of international tourists, one must not forget the country's influence on the worl economy. From: Xàbia al Dia

Record-breaking Easter boosts hopes for summer tourism bonanza in Spain

April 18th
Spain has shattered even the most optimistic forecasts for tourist arrivals during the Easter break that just ended. The good weather encouraged last-minute planners to make the most of the vacation time that ended on Sunday or Monday, depending on the region. Industry sources confirmed high occupancy rates not just at the usual coastal destinations, but also in cities and in rural enclaves. A record 75 million foreign visitors came to Spain last year, and the tourism industry is hoping to set a new high this year, based on the positive Easter figures. From:Ela Pais in English

MontgoRock Xàbia Festival to help raise money for Lighthouse visitor cantre

April 13th
Xàbia town hall and the MontgoRock Xàbia Festival have joined forces to give a boost to the project to open up to the public one of the most impressive points of the Parque Natural de Montgó and help fund the creation of a special visitor centre in the lighthouse at Cap de Sant Antoni. During the festival in May, reusable plastic glasses will be available for two euros with the money raised from their sale being use to finance the technical work necessary to draft a feasible plan which would be submitted for agreement to the Ministry and to the governing board of the Parque Natural del Montgó. from :Javeamigos.

What can be done to save Spain’s historic buildings from ruin?

April 13th
Dozens of ancient monuments throughout Spain supposedly protected by the state are being looted and falling into ruin. The blame lies partly with deep spending cuts in recent years, made worse by the closure of many savings banks, which dedicated substantial resources to caring for listed buildings. At the same time, rural depopulation has made it easier for thieves and vandals to damage historic sites. Spain ranks third in terms of its number of UNESCO World Heritage sites (45), beaten only by China and Italy. José María Pérez, president of the Fundación Santa María la Real del Patrimonio Hístorico, a privately run heritage organization, says the most vulnerable area is along the sparsely populated Spanish-Portuguese border, taking in the provinces of Ourense, Lugo, León, Zamora, Salamanca and Cáceres, along with provinces further inland such as Palencia, Soria, Teruel, Guadalajara and Cuenca. For full story see: El Pais in English.

Denia, Xàbia, Montgó and tourist companies agree to halve boat access to the Cova Tallada

April 5th
One of the conclusions drawn from the meeting on the issue of Cova Tallàda, held on Thursday, March 23, was the need to improve the signage of the route, accessibility, protection and security, as well as the need to see a reduction in the large influx of visitors during the summer. For that reason, representatives of Denia, Xàbia, Montgó and tourist companies proposed a work plan that includes "a reduction of almost 50% in visits to the cave in recreational boats" . These measures include the commitment for each visit to consist of 6 double kayaks for clients accompanied by at least 2 guides; to make only 2 visits daily; to respect certain areas of the cave and not tie kayaks in the interior. Excursions will also not take place under red flag conditions. Companies are committed to take responsibility for the collection and removal of garbage generated by their customers. From: La Marina Plaza.

Spain's Tourism sector ranked the most competitive in the world

April 8th
According to the World Economic Forum Spain's tourism sector ranked as the most competitive in the world. The group’s Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2017: Paving the Way for a More Sustainable & Inclusive Future, which covers 136 economies, grants Spain a top score of 5.4 on 7 on its Competitiveness Index, bettering France and Germany, which ranked second and third respectively. Also in the Top Ten category are Japan, United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Italy, Canada and Switzerland. Published every two years, the report highlighted Spain’s good infrastructure, high security levels and rich cultural resources. Its low point was its business environment. For full story see: El País in English

Xabia tries to attract on-line entrepreneurs

April 5th
Xàbia's Department of Economic Development, through the AFIC-CREAMA agency, is promoting a new initiative to encourage networking between business people in Xàbia. Known as 'Beers and Bytes', the event has also been dubbed 'beachworking', as it is also aiming to attract online business people from the big cities to come and work by the sea. Representatives from the department, headed by councillor Cesc Camprubi, explained that the new initiative aims to reflect the potential offered by Xàbia to combine quality of life with professional development, attracting business people who carry out their activities online as well as attract new online businesses which are to be developed. The ultimate aim is to capture talent in exchange for offering an alternative lifestyle to the big cities. For full story see: Javeamigos.

Jesus Pobre publishes a guide to four hiking routes

April 5th
The local authorities ion Jesus Pobre have published a guide to four hiking trails in their area subsidised by the Alicante Diputación. All the walks start in the town square. 1. Portalet-Coll de Pous - (medium to high difficulty) goes into the Montgó Natural Park with spectacular views of Les Valls and Jesús Pobre, passing through a pine forest to see the Colomer farmstead; 2. Bassa dels Moros: to see a 16th Century hydraulic construction, via the Bisserot farmstead, el Racó Tafarra and the Riurau of Quatre Cantons. 3. Monumental trees, including the famous "thousand year old" olive tree 4. The three windmills. The guide is in three languages and the the routes are signed with color codes. From:Las Provincias.

Fallen trees from winter storms add to fire risk

April 4th
According to AMUFOR (La Asociación de Municipios Forestales de la Comunitat Valenciana - Valencia Association of forested municipalities) - we are now paying for having had no forestry policy since the 1980's. Thousands of trees have fallen as a result of winter storms, and unless these areeremoved before the summer heat they could result in a mountain of ash or plagues of tree diseases. We have more forests than ever, but most are abandoned, and the abandonment of agricultural land (163.000 ha in recent years - 20%) has led to the expansion of un-managed forest, with its attendant fire risks. from Las Provincias Sunday April 2nd Edition.

Great Costa Blanca Route to promote the interior of Alicante

April 4th
The Marina Alta is the starting point of the Great Costa Blanca Route (Gran Ruta del Interior (GR-330). A linear hiking itinerary of 434.9 kilometres that runs the length of Alicante from north to south through its nine regions. It is a project drawn up by the Diputación de Alicante whose aim is to promote sustainable, off-season tourism and the natural, cultural and gastronomic heritage of the interior of the province. The route is divided into twenty stages extending from Denia to Orihuela, 99% of the route uses existing roads and paths in order to take advantage of resources and minimise environmental impact. The proposal has been configured as an itinerary suitable for all levels linking with local short trails allowing the visitor to make circular routes. The Costa Blanca Board of Trustees has published several publications, a professional guide, a smaller one for tourist use and a foldable map, with detailed information on each of the stages and locations. These will be distributed in fairs, workshops etc. as well as through travel agencies, tour operators, airlines and tourist offices in the province. All material is available in Spanish and Valencian, and is soon to be offered also in English, German and French.

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