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Rural revival, a prize for sustainable tourism

foto camp es capFormentera Council (CiF) president Jaume Ferrer, tourism councillor Alejandra Ferrer, and chair of the Formentera Farmers' Cooperative, Carlos Marí, will attend an awards ceremony celebrating sustainable tourism in the Balearics in 2016. The ceremony is scheduled for 8.00pm in the Baluart museum of contemporary and modern art of Palma de Mallorca.

The Council will be awarded a prize for the best initiative in sustainable tourism for its rural revival project, Recuperació del camp a Formentera. The bid to establish a reserve of land is also an effort to promote jobs needed to preserve rural landscapes or return them to their earlier state and jobs in vegetable and livestock farming. Such initiatives, explained President Ferrer, help to preserve Formentera's culture, customs and local identity.

“Preserving and caring for our countryside means working our fields and protecting everything that makes the Formentera landscape unique”, said Ferrer. On Formentera, an island dedicated 100% to tourism, it is absolutely necessary to take clear steps and create incentives to work in the fields and in livestock farming. Such rural revival makes up an important part of sustainable tourism to the extent that it helps preserve our culture, customs and identity, ultimately the reason people visit our island.

The president expressed his thanks for the honorary award, an effort to disseminate, recognise and incentivise best practises in the Balearics, promoting the islands as destination in quality, sustainable tourism.

50 years of love on Formentera

diadelturista1This morning, Thursday September 22, as part of the island's tourist-appreciation day, Dia del Turista, the Formentera Council made a special salute to Federico and Gisela Schmidt, celebrating 50 years of Formentera visits. The couple took their first trip to the island in 1966. For many years the two spent their time on Formentera in a house in es Ca Marí, which they later sold. Since that time, they have spent their visits to the island lodging at their daughter's house in Venda des Pi des Català. Despite a recent spill at home, Federico made it out to the island to celebrate his 93rd birthday. “Every fibre of me loves Formentera. All I wanted was to be here today”, he said. Molts anys i bons!

Discounts, bonuses and fun activities are back...and all part of 'Discover Formentera in October'

nightskyEarlier today the Formentera Council's tourism bureau pulled the curtain back on Discover Formentera in October, a bid to boost pre- and post-season tourist travel to the island leveraging special offers and bonuses. “October is the perfect time to come spend a few days on Formentera,” proclaimed the island's tourism board director, Carlos Bernús, who invoked a mild climate ideal for late-summer swimming and a beefed-up calendar of events as two of the island's most potent draws.

Gastronomic Weekends
The first and second weekends of October, various restaurants will offer sample menus of typical island cuisine for a lean 20 euros. The idea is to encourage tourists to visit the island before or after the traditional high season, but as Bernús acknowledged, the effort has also become a hit among locals.

Activities
Brand new this year is Formentera Astronòmica, an event whose subtitle —“the universe at your fingertips”— is indicative. Bernús described the initiative in the following terms: “For 70 euros, participants will get a chance to discover, photograph, observe by telescope and otherwise marvel at Formentera's fabulous nighttime skyscape.” For the complete programme and to signup, visit www.formenteraastronomica.com.

In addition, this year, from October 8 to 11, residents and visitors will see the return of Formentera Zen, promoting approaches to healthy living. The entire programme can be seen online at www.formenterazen.info and registration costs 350 euros.

Sports
Sporting events on Formentera are a mainstay. Formentera's fourth annual triathlon is scheduled for October 8 and signups is possible on the website, www.triatlonformentera.com. Volta a peu a Formentera (“the walk round Formentera”) runs from October 8 to 11, and offers participants the opportunity to hike the island in groups and in multiple stages. Head to the www.amicsdeformentera.cat website for details and registration.

Local celebrations
El Pilar de la Mola's popular festival (“les Festes”) is another towering figure on the island's list of attractions. Live music, traditional dance, kids' activities and a procession are all on the agenda for locals and tourists alike starting October 12. Up-to-date information can be found at www.agendaformentera.cat.

Discounts
Transport companies offer discounts on boat tickets for the Eivissa-Formentera route for tourists that stay in any one of the 21 hotels and tourist lodgings that have signed up for the island's ploy to bolster off-season visitors. Three rental car agencies have also pledged to give discounts to tourists and active tourism firms offering bonuses. Details are available at Formentera's tourism webpage, http://formentera.es/beta/ca/content/descobreix-formentera-loctubre-2016.

Regional minister outlines push for consumer protections in car rentals

foto reunio consumThe chief of the Balearic Islands' bureau of consumer affairs, Xisco Dalmau, met today before members of Formentera's rental car sector to lay out a campaign championing consumers' rights when they hire cars. He described the push —an initiative fronted by Dalmau's office— at a gathering of local business and community leaders known as the “Council of Entities” (Consell d'Entitats). Alejandra Ferrer and Rafael González are the heads of Formentera's tourism and mobility offices, two branches of local government that are also pushing the campaign. They too attended today's event.

Dalmau framed the initiative as a way to “raise awareness about the rights of consumers and other individuals linked to the rent-a-car sector”. He also touted another of his office's goals: a code of best practises for the sector, something he described as “a seal of excellence for businesses that meet the requirements of the code”. Councillor Ferrer hopes the code can be adapted to Formentera's philosophy, and that it can be done with help from the rental car business community. In her words, the code will protect local enterprises in a number of ways, for one, “by ensuring optimal conditions and taking aim at unfair competition”.

In 2016, Formentera fashion show turns nine

Foto presentació passarella moda 2016Alejandra Ferrer, the trade and tourism councillor of the Formentera Council, reported earlier today on the details of 2016 Formentera Catwalk, a fashion runway show that will take over plaça d'Europa in Es Pujols this Friday at 10.00pm. Also present at the morning press conference were the local designers whose work will be on display at the event.

In the words of Councillor Ferrer, the show will be the chance for participating designers “to transport audiences straight to the countryside, sea and sky of the islands.” She added, “here's hoping that all the locals and tourists who attend enjoy the ride”. To Ferrer, fashion is always an expression of culture. The fact that the designs at Formentera Catwalk will carry the special stamp of the place they were created, Ferrer says, means the island is sure to be firmly in the spotlight at Friday night's runway show.

This is the event's ninth year, and the decision to host it in Es Pujols was based both on ample space available at plaça d'Europa and the possibility it provided for a minimal environmental footprint. With a long history under her belt as presenter for local television station TEF, Nuria Arias is a shoe-in in her role as emcee.

Said Ferrer, “the Council is thrilled to put on Formentera Catwalk because it's an opportunity to showcase the fabulous work done by our local textile workers and designers.” This year's show will include Te Doy la Luna (children's ware), Ibimoda (guest designer), Macramé, Eva Cardona, Vanitaly, B-7&Acho, Kavra Formentera, Alena Tur Torres (a young Formentera native who will use the evening to exhibit her end of term project), Elena Hurtado (OBI), Ur-Joies (jeweller) and Lorenzo Pepe (jeweller).

Sixteen professional models from Eivissa agency Deva Models will take on the task of presenting the designs. Featured products will include jewellery, wedding dresses and avant-garde creations inspired by the nature, sea and colours of the island. As always, everything is sure to dazzle first-time tourists and long-time local followers alike.

Councillor Ferrer was sure to thank CiF staff and sponsors like Carbonicas Tur, Proauto Rent-a-car, Autos Isla Blanca, Hotel Blanco, Hotel Levante, Hotel Rosales and Hernan Raffo for their support.

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