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In coming days, Formentera tourism to make its case to countries of Northern Europe

Foto promoció de Formentera a Utrecht copiaAccording to Formentera's tourism advisory board director, Carlos Bernús, over the next week local tourism reps will highlight the island's «family-friendly and nature-loving side» to crowds at three different holiday destination fairs. The goal, he said, is to attract tourists from Northern Europe at the beginning and end of the summer vacation season. «Over the past few years», Bernús pointed out, «these populations have demonstrated a growing interest in our island and are starting to bring increasingly large numbers of tourists along with them».

Formentera shares an informational stand at all three of the week's fairs with the rest of the Balearic Islands. From Wednesday (13th) to Sunday (17th) a guide contracted by the CiF will tell visitors at the Vakantiebeurs destination trade show in Utrecht, Netherlands about the charm of the southern Pitiusa island. From Thursday (14th) to Sunday (17th), Formentera will also have representatives at the Ferien de Viena fair in Austria. At the weekend, reps will continue by showing crowds at CMT (Stuttgart, Germany) the best Formentera has to offer.

Next week

Representatives of the island will continue their whirlwind tour of Europe's tourism fairs through next week. Monday January 18th a member of staff from Baltus – a local leader in advertising to travellers in Holland – will represent Formentera at a Turespaña event in the Hague. Later in the week Formentera will be present at Turespaña's stand at the Matka fair in Helsinki, Finland between January 21st and 24th. At the same fair, the island will also have its own stand in an area dedicated to island paradises.

 

Locals shoppers made 4,400 purchases this holiday season

Entrega premis premsaThe Formentera Council's trade office teamed up with the local chamber of commerce today to award prizes as part of a Christmas raffle. The eleven lucky winners had all taken part in “Compra a casa, compra a Formentera” a Christmas push to buy local and support island businesses. Trade secretary Alejandra Ferrer highlighted the success of a campaign which, in this, its second year, has put 4,400 raffle tickets in the pockets of Formentera shoppers—proof, the secretary said, “that more than 4,400 purchases were made at local businesses this holiday season”.

Expanding the campaign
Initially participation was open to any local business not trading in edible products, provided it continued operations through the year and put up Christmas decorations. However, given Formentera shoppers' warm reception of the campaign, Ferrer says next year will come with expansion to new areas, such as restaurants that are open year-round, which the secretary says should benefit from the buy-local incentives. Ferrer even alluded to the possibility of extending the campaign past the holiday season.

Eleven winners
Secretary Ferrer was joined by Juanma Costa, the chairman of the chamber of commerce, in handing out prizes to the eleven winners. Jaime Moll won a weekend on Eivissa for two, car and hotel included; Maria Magdalena received a Christmas ham and bottle of wine; Erika Escandell, two cinema tickets for two; Paquita Escandell, dinner for two at Acapulco; Begoña, a piece of art by Sol Courregues; Antonio Tur, a trip to Raquel's hair salon in la Savina (with cut, colour and styling); Rita, dinner for two at s'Abeurada den Simonet; Patricia Vázquez, a piece of art by Sol Courregues; Alicia Benito, a shellac nail session at BSC in la Savina; Isabel Roig, perfume from Artesanía Formentera in Sant Francesc; and Antònia, a set of books. Winners who were unable to unable to attend the ceremony can stop by the trade office (àrea de Comerç) of the Formentera Council to pick up their prize.

Prizes for buying local set for Tuesday 12 January

The drawing to decide the winners of this holiday season's buy-local Christmas raffle will be held on a different day than the one originally announced. Instead of 5 January, the event will take place Friday 8 January at the office of trade of the Formentera Council. The eleven winners will be contacted that same say and asked to attend the award ceremony, an act which will be presided over by trade department head Alejandra Ferrer and a representative of the Formentera Chamber of Commerce. The ceremony will take place Tuesday 12 January at 11 a.m. at the Formentera Council.

The awards ceremony will be the bow on the package for the CiF office of trade's shop-local programme. The prizes are as follows:

1. A weekend for two in Eivissa with hotel and car-hire paid
2. A Christmas ham and a bottle of wine
3. Two trips to the cinema for two
4. Dinner for two at Acapulco
5. A painting by artist Sol Courregues
6. A trip to the hair salon (cut, colour and styling), Raquel a La Savina
7. Dinner for two at s'Abeurada den Simonet
8. A painting by artist Sol Courregues
9. « Shelac » nail session at BSC salon de La Savina
10. A selection of perfumes from “Artesanía Formentera” in Sant Francesc
11. A selection of books

The Formentera Island Council and the Chamber of Commerce have sponsored this campaign as a way to promote local commerce during the holiday season here in Formentera. The campaign includes all local businesses (except food stores) that open year round and put up holiday-themed decorations.

Guanaja takes cue from Formentera's model of tourism

Visita far premsaEarlier today CiF president Jaume Ferrer and councillors Susan Labrador (education), Alejandra Ferrer (land and tourism) and Daisee Aguilera (environment) met in the Council's plenary hall with Spurgeon Miller, mayor of Guanaja, Honduras. Also present was Blai Paco, president of Unió Empresarial de l'Anoia de Catalunya, the association which set up the encounter.

Mr Ferrer gave thanks to Mr Miller for his visit and commented, «Guanaja and Formentera, for their similar sizes and populations, can share a lot with respect to our administrative models». Tourism in Guanaja, according to the Formentera Council president, is in the beginning stages of its expansion. The representatives took advantage of the encounter to discuss environmental issues such as waste management, supply of water and energy and promoting sustainable transport.

The mayor of the Honduran island took note of the path taken by Formentera and declared his desire to implement similar solutions to ours. He referenced ideas such as the construction of a waste transfer plant and supplying electricity by means of an underwater cable and indicated, «the key to sustainable growth is striking a balance on tourism that is both environmentally-friendly and respects homegrown traditions, which is what has happened here on Formentera».

After the morning meeting, the officials visited landmarks like the Es Cap de Barbaria lighthouse and other sites such as the field of solar panels and the transfer plant.

Formentera asks for labour checks year round

Presentacio Pla de Lluita premsaAt eleven this morning in the plenary hall of the Formentera Council, the Govern Balear's secretary of employment, trade and industry, Iago Negueruela, was joined by CiF president Jaume Ferrer, councillor of land management and tourism Alejandra Ferrer, and director general of occupation and economy, Llorenç Pou, for a presentation of a plan spearheaded by the Palma administration this summer aimed at combating worker exploitation.

Negueruela outlined the plan's repercussions at the local level, which were felt by a total of 148 workers. According to the secretary, «121 workers who previously had temporary employment contracts saw these converted into indefinite arrangements, while another 27 had their workday extended».

The Formentera Council president praised the swiftness of the new regional government in implementing the plan and taking on job insecurity, and noted «the Council has called for just such a plan since 2007, when we took office». He said the plan responds to the demands of business associations like the Pimef and reconfirmed the Council's intent to continue working with the executive branch on the matter. Though Ferrer asserted that the bulk of unqualified professional practise and job insecurity is experienced during the tourist season, «periodic checks in other sectors – like construction – are needed during other parts of the year». The call was well-received by Negueruela, who concurred: «These are checks that need to happen in the winter as well».

Two new programmes
The regional secretary thanked the CiF administration for assisting in the plan's implementation at the local level and announced the roll-out of two additional initiatives: a youth guarantee workshop and another programme, developed specifically for unemployed Formentera residents above 45, «to re-enter the work force with the help of special six-month job contracts». At the end of the morning's press conference, the officials, together with CiF councillor of social welfare and human resources Vanessa Parellada, visited the local job-seekers' office (SOIB).

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