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Madrid breaks the barrier between the concepts of a layover city and tourism destination

Madrid takes advantage of layover hub status to boost its tourist appeal

Madrid takes advantage of layover hub status to boost its tourist appeal

When an airport transfer turns into a full-blown holiday

Stopover Hola Madrid is the name of an initiative that promotes the Spanish capital as a destination for long-haul passengers transferring through its international airport. In other words, it encourages people to take a break and spend between 1 and 6 nights there before continuing with their onward journey.

The product came as a collaboration between the City of Madrid and the Spanish national carrier Iberia. Between July 2019 and December 2021, a total of 21,590 Iberia passengers converted their air connection into a tourist stop in the capital city thanks to the advantages offered by the programme, such as discounts at participating tourism establishments.

Spotting economic appeal opportunities

During the coming months, the Delegated Area of ​​Tourism hopes to continue increasing the return of this program that contributes to boosting the Madrid tourism sector and positioning the capital as an international air hubStopover Hola Madrid has been very well received on the American continent, especially in Latin America, a consolidated and strategic market that brings in a large number of high-level visitors.

South America (54.5%) and Central America (31.7%) have been the regions that have benefited the most from the advantages that Stopover Hola Madrid offers to passengers with a final destination in Europe. By country, visitors from Brazil (25.2%) and the United States (10.3%) are the ones who have most demanded this service.

The economic impact for the city since the launch of the programme is estimated to be some 18.4 million euros.

The increase in the average stay in the city, another of the main objectives of the program in line with the Strategic Tourism Plan of the capital, has also been encouraged thanks to this initiative. The public-private collaboration includes special offers in accommodation in Madrid with a duration of up to six days. 

The benefits for the visitors

48 hours before their arrival customers can obtain a free guidebook with information about local transportation, climate, sightseeing and dining.

Once in Madrid, they may wish to hire a Biduzzer, an expert personal guide who can provide insider information about places to go and things to do, from the best choices on a menu to the best seats in a theatre.

On reaching the arrivals area in Madrid, Stopover Hola Madrid can pick up free public transportation cards valid for two days on all municipal buses and the underground Metro.

27.3% of travellers opted for a three-day stay in Madrid, accompanied by the enjoyment of other cultural, restaurant and shopping services. 53.5% chose to extend their layover and enjoy the benefits of the product on their outward leg, the rest opted for it on their return journey.

To promote this program, the City Council and Iberia have been carrying out a series of promotional actions that have given great visibility to the Madrid destination at an international level through the dissemination of the image of the capital in the airline's own media, marketing campaigns or familiarization trips.

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