Tour operator initiatives

The Patronat has participated in two initiatives aimed at international tour operators and in the organisation of a familiarisation trip to the destination for Italian agents.

MARCH 2014

In June, the Patronat de Turisme has participated in two workshops (Buy MICE Catalunya and ETOA) and has organised a familiarisation trip to the destination for a group of Italian tour operators to enable them to discover the destination at first hand and market it in Italy. This initiative is included in programme 1 of the 2011-2015 Strategic Tourism Plan of the counties of Girona, concerned with marketing and promotion.

On 9th June, the Patronat de Turisme, together with the Girona Convention Bureau, took part in the Buy MICE Catalunya Workshop that brought together 150 tour operators from China, Russia and European countries. The Patronat de Turisme held 15 meetings at the event.

On the days leading up to the workshop (7th to 9th June) several familiarisation trips were organised so that the invited tour operators could discover Catalonia's MICE offer at first hand. One of these familiarisation trips focused on the conference and incentive trip offer of Girona (city) and Lloret de Mar.

Furthermore, on 8th, 10th and 11th June, the Patronat de Turisme, together with the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Barcelona, organised a familiarisation trip for Italian travel agents from the island of Sardinia to show them the tourism offer of the Costa Brava destination, with special emphasis on the cultural, gastronomic and active tourism offer of the area. The trip concluded with an inverse workshop attended by 40 companies from the Girona area, mostly inbound travel agencies, hotels and activity companies. The travel agents who took part in the familiarisation trip included Consorzio Agenzia, Firstsardinia and Fiavet Sardegna.

Finally, on 20th June, the City Fair of the ETOA (European Tour Operator Association) took place in London, bringing together some 200 tour operators from all over Europe. The Patronat de Turisme, in conjunction with the Catalan Tourism Promotion Centre in London, participated in this event to present the Costa Brava and Pirineu de Girona destinations to 18 professionals from British wholesale travel agencies with whom it held meetings, highlighting new features of the destination’s tourism offer. This event contributed to maintaining contact and forging closer bonds with the agencies that operate in the destination. A number of British operators showed an interest in purchasing cultural tourism packages in which music festivals and traditional events are the key attractions of the trip.