Friday, November 25, 2011

Quality Tourism

As the Mojácar Town Hall wonders how much to budget for the Madrid tourist Fair in January - the Fitur - I would like to suggest a few things which might be done to attract visitors (and package-tour trippers, for what they're worth to the local economy), all without breaking the bank.
A sign on the motorway exit to start with, similar (for example) to the one off Puerto Lumbreras (Ciudad de Alfarería) or the nifty models - rather mistreated these days - outside Nijar. According to a study made in a tourist destination in Cadiz somewhere, about 10% of the tourist traffic that arrived off the motorway was impulse-driven. How much would a sign cost?
Jacinto Alarcón, our old mayor, once recommended visitors 'to summer your winter in Mojácar'. The point is, the small and inadequate infrastructure in Mojácar is full during the summer and yet it is completely empty during the rest of the year when Mojácar, thanks to its extraordinary micro-climate, is extremely comfortable. That's a season to promote... and it would be directed to people willing to listen.
Make the pedestrian entrance to Mojácar near to where the cars are parked. Three hundred metres walk to the Plaza Nueva and another three hundred metres back...? Along a narrow road with a miserable pavement...? Put an elevator up to the back square and make it - now that we are building there anyway - into something attractive and vehicle free (dentro de lo que cabe).
Support up-market hotels, like the Parador, where the clients have money to spend, rather than run-down tripper hotels, whose agenda is to cut every corner, while encouraging their guests to stay within the walls.
Encourage foreign retirees to buy in Mojácar - they will be bringing in large sums of money and spending all year long. Stop treating those foreigners, now local residents in good faith, as pariahs: allow them a bowling green if they want one (no one here plays padel tennis). Perhaps celebrate 'International Day' like they do in the Costa Blanca and the Costa del Sol instead of the just-mojaquero-days like the Romería and the Día de la Virgen. Mojácar's reputation could improve.
A silly thing perhaps, but maybe a street name to honour the foreigners who, between them, brought this town back from absolute poverty? We don't have any Calle Fritz Mooney, Plaza Paul Becket or Avenida Bill Napier. In fact, while there are Calles de Rumanía, Francia, Suecia, Dinamarca etc... there isn't one honouring Inglaterra or Reino Unido. We are 50% of the population you know.
The sign in the photograph is good, isn't it? It comes from Granada and doesn't have any mistakes in the English. It's as if... they asked someone to check the spelling.


Ani said...

Excuse me, there are quite a few of us that play padel tennis and use the municipal courts, they are considerably cheaper than the ones at the Parador.

rj said...

sign at motorway, elevator to get the masses up, great (although surely it's too late to include it in this ongoing project to be finished in...6 months?). but to encourage EVEN MORE expats to come'n live here?! i think our numbers (%) are already sufficiently high, thank you very much.
to have Mojacar stick out even more and stay in the memories of the cherished tourists as the little pearl it is, it would also help to make it -and the surroundings!- cleaner. at no extra expense! i think of organizing the available resources, manpower, more efficiently. instead of having the now quite clean streets brushed over and over again on a daily basis, or 5 men spending a day to not a great job of 'maintenance' around the transformer (at cuesta de la fuente), the ramblas and area behind beaches, red cross etc are teeming with rubbish. very un-appealing. put together a task-force, which will not always do the same area, but continuously make their way along Mojacar countryside and amass tons of basura. is it naive to imagine it would also give the workmen more satisfaction to actually see a result at the end of the day?