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Cultural and natural heritage stars of Formentera's show at FITUR

foto FITUR 2018 2Today, the Formentera Council's Office of Tourism reports that with the focus of the International Tourism Trade Fair, or FITUR, trained on the Balearic Islands, Formentera took Thursday to shine a spotlight on the island's culture with its newly updated catalogue of heritage sites. The move is all the more fitting given the United Nations have designated 2018 as a year for cultural tourism.

The presentation touched on two distinct tiers of heritage. One was cultural, and presenters referred to the enduring mark left by the numerous civilisations settling on Formentera throughout history. The other locus was the island's natural heritage. Here, Formentera's representatives spoke about the landscapes and nature that set us apart from other tourist destinations, and held up such initiatives as the Save Posidonia Project.

Attendees of the expo had the opportunity to see and visit some of the island's most iconic sights. Using special eyeglasses and thanks to an array of 360º-filmed virtual reality videos, visitors took in landmarks like lighthouses and watchtowers.

A campaign built around selfies also figured in the plan, with winners of a raffle enjoying stays on the island and the promise of local beaches, culture, hikes and gastronomy. Of course, those are just some of the standout features that make Formentera a one of kind island in the Mediterranean.

Formentera takes cultural heritage on the road to FITUR

Esglesia sant francesc panoramica reduxThe Formentera Council's Office of Tourism reports that Formentera will join the islands of Mallorca and Menorca in a shared promotional stand at FITUR, an international tourism trade fair. The islands' space at the expo, which will play out this Wednesday to Sunday, January 21, is coordinated by the Agència Balear de Turisme.

As in years past, Formentera will leverage the important travel industry event to take its catalogue of cultural heritage and natural spaces to an increasingly broad audience. One thing visitors are sure to see again at this year's expo is technology being harnessed —think VR goggles— to showcase some of the island's most treasured natural spaces and landscapes.

Sporting and cultural events, features of the Formentera calendar which generate ever growing interest, will also be the object of a special promotional campaign tuned to drawing visitors before and after the traditional high season. This year, as part of the UN's declaration of 2018 as Year of Cultural Heritage, Formentera's representatives at the expo will present a related brochure, the island's latest, before members of the national press. The presentation is scheduled for Thursday at 10.30am.

Formentera Council gives final OK to 2018 budgets

Foto ple redux 2The Formentera Council's 2018 budgets received final approval on the back of the inadmission of grievances from UGT and the local chapter of the People's Party, or PP. The two groups' complaints had been made in reference to spending by the Formentera Council in 2018.

Rejection of the grievances is based on the ground that, formulated as they were, they could not be included in any of the established categories. According to tax secretary Bartomeu Escandell, “Two appeals were made following the budget's approval in November. Nevertheless, review of the appeals by the Council's legal department revealed that neither claim fit with the existing categories of accepted grievances, and they were rejected”. Escandell expressed his excitement that the nearly €27-million budget was moving forward.

With the budget's final text issued to the region's official gazette, or BOIB, it is hoped it will be approved in full by the end of the week.

Formentera expands metred parking to Es Pujols, Sant Ferran and Sant Francesc

Aparcament la savina premsaThe Formentera Council Office of Mobility reports that from this summer, local motorists can expect to find metred parking in es Pujols, Sant Ferran and Sant Francesc. As published today in the country's official gazette, the Boletino Oficial del Estado, the Council has begun taking steps to purchase parking metres with an eye to installing them in the first half of 2018. The system is expected to be in use and fully operational in the three towns by July 1 of this year.

Trial run in la Savina
When the Council launched metred parking in la Savina back in 2015, it was the first of its kind on the island. Previously at the whim of chronic parking shortages, the town has largely seen the problem reversed. The experiment's success propelled the decision to replicate the scheme in other towns on the island that are similarly squeezed by parking crunch.

The task of patrolling the new metred spots in winter will fall to a three-person brigade of parking attendants and in summer their ranks will swell to 16. As laid out in the Council's 2018 budget, members of the brigade will be employed by the municipality and contracted by the Council.

Meetings will be held with neighbourhood associations in each town to explain the particulars of the project in each case.

Consell d'Entitats
Today the metred parking scheme, known as pàrquing regulat in Catalan, reflects the same model that was presented before the island's citizen participation entity (Consell d'Entitats) in 2014 and 2015. Many of the group's gatherings over the years have focused on the goal of cutting the number of vehicles in circulation on the island, particularly in summer.

Discussions at Consell d'Entitats meetings succeeded in generating a range of new proposals. Though some, like collecting information on vehicles that enter the island, fall under the authority of the Govern balear, others, such as regulating parking in urban areas, are within the Council's purview. In that regard, the planned expansion of the scheme is as much about optimising how people park as it is encouraging them to drive less.

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