Madrid (EFE).- The possibility of establishing a direct plane connection with New York from the Alicante-Elche airport is a “difficult” challenge, although possible, which would become the “jewel in the crown” of tourism policy from the Costa Blanca.
This was stated in an interview with EFE by the president of the Provincial Council and the Costa Blanca Board of Trustees, Carlos Mazón, during the Madrid International Tourism Fair (FITUR), where he argued that Alicante is a destination with “category, location and possibilities enough” to achieve this prestigious air connection.
After the city of Alicante has become a base port for cruise ships, Mazón sees “it is perfectly possible for an American to travel on a direct flight from New York to spend a few days in Alicante before leaving the port on a Mediterranean cruise or for Europe.”
“Let’s go for him”
“We are going to go for it”, he continued in reference to this air connection, for which he explained that he has already formally requested both the Generalitat Valenciana and the Alicante-Elche ‘Miguel Hernández’ airport and the Spanish Airports and Navigation entity Aérea (AENA) “to help us achieve a goal that we have the obligation to set if we want to continue competing in the big leagues of tourism.”
The president of the Costa Blanca Board of Trustees has commented that this project is also supported by the fact that the University of Alicante (UA) and Miguel Hernández de Elche (UMH) are two of the main destinations chosen by students from other countries who wish to learn Spanish through of the Erasmus program.
«I see many possibilities that young Americans interested in linguistic tourism could be another important base on which to pivot» the demand for the Alicante flight with the US.
In addition, it has shown that British tourism has become residential and that, in fact, Alicante is the Spanish province with the most residents from both the United Kingdom and Russians and Ukrainians, so now you can “climb to the next step, which is the North American: the jewel in the crown».
In order to advance this ambitious objective, he explained that the Costa Blanca Board has already begun to survey the market, taking advantage of the current edition of FITUR. More than thirty working meetings with international agents and airline tour operators are planned.
According to the PP politician, “it is not convenient to rush and you have to do things knowing what the objective is and that you have time to work and prepare”, with which FITUR is time to “sow”.
Exceed the arrival of visitors
More generally, the Costa Blanca Board is “optimistic” regarding the possibility of reaching and even exceeding the arrival of visitors in the pre-pandemic year (2019), when 15.3 million passengers arrived at the airport. “I am convinced that we will be able to reach 16 million, despite the inflation and the legal situation of some uncertainty in the British market,” he said in reference to Brexit.
To increase this increase in the number of tourists, the Costa Blanca strives to capture “big events and references”, such as the exhibition on the Warriors of Xi’an between March and December 2023, a sample of which has advanced that it hopes can negotiate “some more extensions on the fly” with the Chinese authorities.
Funded with two million euros by the Provincial Council, this exhibition will facilitate the arrival of more than 400,000 visitors to the city, many of whom will come to Alicante “only for this reason”, although Mazón believes that in the future they will “repeat”.
Enemy of the tourist tax
He has advocated for a “very competitive” tourism in quality and receptivity, and for this reason he has said that he is a declared enemy of the tourist tax since he believes that “it changes the way of receiving the visitor” in the sense of “instead of saying : you are welcome, it is changed to ‘you bother us and you have to pay for it’.
That makes the rate “a very clear message error” that, he trusts, will be eradicated once the next regional elections are over.
The metaverse has become one of the new assets of the Costa Blanca to attract tourists at the moment of making a decision on where to organize a trip.
It is an “immersive and three-dimensional (3D)” experience that, from the Costa Blanca website, will make an avatar “wet your lips with the honey of some products to make the Costa Blanca more appetizing”, all for achieve, Mazón recalled, “that no one has an excuse not to visit us.”