Gandia gets the London look in WTM holidaymaker hunt
BRITISH holidaymakers are Gandia's Holy Grail – hence the council's pilgrimage to London this week.
The La Safor district capital is the number one beachbreak destination for Spaniards in land-locked locations – mostly Madrid – but as yet it has few foreigners among its visitors and has yet to be discovered by sun-seeking Brits.
In a bid to branch out into UK travel agency shop windows, Gandia's mayoress Diana Morant and her colleagues were at the World Travel Market in its capital from Monday to Wednesday – one of the largest tourism trade fairs on the planet.
As practically every country in the world with any holiday industry at all has a presence at the WTM, Gandia was also able to drum up interest from beyond UK borders.
In fact, most destinations seek as many meetings as they can when they get there – Gan- dia had scheduled talks with Balearic ferry firm Trasmediterránea, which runs crossings from the La Safor town to Ibiza, plus Hoteles RH, Minube, Jumbo Tours, Expedia and the Magic Costa Blanca hotel chain.
Gandia has previously tried to promote itself as a holiday town 'with hardly any Brits', knowing that, ironically, this is the USP most likely to at- tract British tourists.
UK nationals make up 25% of Spain's international visitors, and Gandia wants to capitalise on this – but not just by showing off its fabulous beaches.
Britons are less likely than any other foreigners to limit their visits to the Comunidad Valenciana to high summer – peak season for most nationalities is July and August, but for UK citizens, it is from May to October and they are the most prolific trippers to the region in winter.
Gandia's promotional video, photos and brochures extolled its historical heritage, countryside and cuisine as well as its sun-drenched coastline.
More information on the WTM on page 16
Tourists arriving in Gandia