I Need Spain
That is the name of the new advertising campaign that is being launched by the Spanish Tourist Board at the end of this month. Some 13.8 million visitors went from the UK to Spain last year and we accounted for over a quarter of all tourism. Therefore Spain sees us as a very important market.
Spending €40 million (say about £36 million) this campaign will be worldwide and run until at least the world cup.
The approach that the advertising will take will be to focus on Spanish lifestyle. The campaign will say that Spain is more than sand and sea although one of the people fronting the campaign is Gisela Pulido, the kite surfing world champion who has won that title 6 times. It will emphasise culture as well (Spain has the second largest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites in the world) and food which is why the other frontman is the chef, Ferran Adria.
Last year the number of UK and Irish visitors to Spain dropped as people made cut back on their spend. With a low conversion rate to euros Britons also lost out. There was also criticism about the slowness of Spanish hoteliers to reduce their prices to rival those found elsewhere in destinations like Egypt and Turkey.
Will things alter this year?
People are feeling more confident and the appeal of Spain is fairly well entrenched in the British psyche. But the euro is still an issue so going on holiday anywhere in the eurozone, not just Spain still requires about 10%-15%more than two years ago. All inclusive holidays which enable you to budget more efficiently are still not widely available in Spain. In fact many tourist people dislike the idea because tourist spend is reduced in local shops and restuarants. On the plus side, lots of prices haven’t gone up. And after the winter we have had the lure of the sun and the sand may be Spain’s greatest marketing draw.