Despite staffing problems on the Orihuela Costa resulting in the closure of the tourist information office at the start of the season, Orihuela has had a bumper summer in terms of dealing with foreign enquirers
The councillor for tourism in Orihuela, Sofía Álvarez, has detailed the number of visits by foreign tourists to the information offices in the municipality, showing a growth of 35%
“It is important to get people to come to our beaches”, she explained, and this year there has been some 101 different nationalities visit Orihuela, who are not only interested in the sandy coastline of Blue Flag beaches, but also came to, “know our history, where we are, our monuments and lifestyle”, Álvarez said.
Typically, the majority of tourists came from the United Kingdom, France and Belgium, with Belgian tourists showing the most growth. In addition, there has been, “a great influx” of Russian visitors, who traditionally have avoided Orihuela, and the number of Scandinavian visitors has been maintained.
The data gives a positive outlook for the municipality, which has seen an increase of 6.56%, similar to the growth of places such as Madrid.
Hotel occupancy in the city of Orihuela has grown by 5%, according to the survey conducted by the Department of Tourism, along with the hotel owners themselves. On the coast, hotel figures maintain the same levels of last year, reaching “95% occupancy in tourist apartments, both those of individual qualified status, and accommodation such as aparthotels”, not including the other private properties which are not legally registered.
One of the innovations which has made a difference to tourism is the introduction of both guided and dramatised walks. During July and August, a series of tours was launched, although mostly in the historic city area which lends itself better to these kind of talks as there is so much more to say, it helps to “deseasonalise tourism and bring visitors from the beaches to the city in order for them to learn our rich, monumental heritage”, according to Álvarez.
The councillor confirmed that the talks, which are also taking place in other historic locations such as Cartagena and Alicante, as well as other countries, were met with “great acceptance and enthusiasm”, as, “more than a thousand people have participated in them”, and they serve to “value our tradition, our monuments and our history”, she explained. “.
Álvarez thanked the Provincial Council of Alicante for their support, as they have subsidised 50% of the expenses generated by the theatrical tours.
The tours will continue during the Saturdays of September, and all those who want to attend just need to reserve their place by contacting the Tourist Office in Orihuela Centro, or by calling 96 530 46 45.
Use of new technology has also increased this summer, “Orihuela Turística’s website has experienced an increase of 6% in visits, with more than 10,000 new visitors”.