The event at the Spanish embassy in Paris, Source: Ayuntamiento de Mérida

Spanish World Heritage Cities go to Paris on a mission

Spanish World Heritage Cities go to Paris on a mission

The group has come together to promote their common interest in restarting tourism to the Iberian country

Earlier this year, we reported on a great example of co-operation that was both inter-municipal and across different levels of administration, all with the purpose of presenting a collective effort and voice in the relaunching of Spain as a high-level destination brand. This concerned the joining of forces between 15 Spanish cities that have UNESCO World Heritage status, Paradores (the association of palace-hotels) and the national Ministry of Tourism.

The collaboration has now extended beyond words into action with the organization of a meeting between the Group’s representatives and those of the largest French tour operators held at the Spanish Embassy in Paris. The action was meant as a way to promote the cities as safe and preferred destinations to receive tourists from Europe.

A model of promotion that gives the initiative to local governments and enjoys state support

The event at the Spanish Embassy was spearheaded by the Minister of Tourism, Reyes Maroto; together with the president of the Heritage Cities Group and mayor of Mérida, Antonio Rodríguez Osuna, and the president of Paradores de Turismo, Óscar López. Together they presented to 80 French tour operators, travel agencies and French media the opportunities offered by the 15 Spanish destinations and the Paradores de Turismo network, which constitute a benchmark for quality in heritage and cultural tourism in Spain.

The Chairman of the Group, Antonio Rodríguez Osuna, stressed that “Spain is the preferred destination for the French, with a market share of 18% of total international trips and, in 2020, it was the first outbound market. Hence the importance of holding this event together with the Ministry of Tourism and the Embassy of Spain in France, which meant a determined support from the Government of Spain to offer our Heritage Cities and Paradores as unique destinations for future French tourists”.

It remains to be seen whether such high-level lobbying actions can spell a new approach to tourism brand promotion but without a doubt it has served to emphasize the high quality of this market sector which aims to attract a more discerning type of traveller.



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