Francesc camp about the ski season and plans for cooperation with tour operators
Andorra – dwarf European state with an area of 467 sq km, located between France and Spain. The country has no outlet to the sea, but is only 2.5 hours drive from Barcelona. The main wealth of the Andorra – Pyrenees and 300 km of ski slopes. They provide andorrana main income – annually the country is visited by 8 million tourists. Last year in the ski HotLine rating.Andorra travel came in first place, ahead of Italy and Austria. And expects to maintain the position this winter. How the country’s tourism Minister Francesc camp told the editor of an online magazine within the framework of the International tourism investment forum if it in 2016.
Photo: Dmitry Plisov
Francesc, this year in Andorra the addition. The direction came another Russian tour operators – “Biblio Globus”. Not too many players for such a small country?
We just arrived at if it is in 2016 and to meet new partners for us. We appreciate those operators who have already worked and continue to bet on Andorra, but also support those who only goes on the direction.
It is very important that this year the company “Biblio Globus” begins its Charter program in Andorra. This is no coincidence – Andorra is doing everything to Russian tour operators and their clients were happy with the range, service.
We are aware that the crisis brought about changes in the structure of demand in the market of ski tours. The release of a new major tour operator, will certainly give greater momentum to the development direction and will lead to the growth of its popularity.
Where such confidence?
The middle class have less opportunities to travel. And Andorra in terms of price-quality offers the optimal product for this market segment. So we win in Austria. The fact that Andorra offers, more in line with the needs of the Russian customer.
A small tourist countries often face shortage of accommodation facilities. In Cyprus, this issue, for example, is. Are not you afraid that with the arrival of new players is going to happen in Andorra?
No, we have no such problems at the moment. But let’s get into the numbers. If we translate all the rooms in a number of places, we have the opportunity to make 44 thousand a day, that’s 15 million per annum. We have a stock of accommodation facilities, which will allow tourist arrivals to grow even more.
Why Russian tourists should choose Andorra?
First and foremost is the range of après-ski – Russian like shopping, shopping, here we have a great selection. With more than 1 500 commercial centers of Andorra is a duty free zone. It’s what separates us from any of the ski areas. Second – compactness. The town and ski station are 20 minutes away from each other – is also a rarity. Large ski area – up to 300 km of pistes of different levels. You know that Grandvalira is in the top 20 ski resorts in the world?
I must say that Russian tourist everywhere in Andorra you will find English-speaking personnel. This also compares favorably to the Alpine resorts of Austria, France, Italy. The Russians, who during the summer work on the coast of Spain, in winter in Andorra – the ski instructors and animators, including children’s ski gardens, lifts, shops and restaurants.
Photo: Dmitry Plisov
What is the share of Russian tourists in the total tourist arrivals to the country?
The main two markets for us, of course, they are our neighbors – France and Spain. 80 % of the market. In the remaining 20% Russia has always been in the first place. Now dropped to third position. In 2014, the Russian tourist flow has decreased by 50 %, in 2015 – by 10 %. We are realists and understand why it happened. And do not seek to conquer the unattainable tops. This winter, our task is to change the dynamic and grow in Russia by 10 %.
First of all, tell us about Andorra – this is a unique and very popular destination. We have seen the publication of the HotLine.travel where Andorra has moved into first place in the ski rankings (among the Moscow travel agencies. – Approx. ed.) and ahead of Austria. The task of this position to save.
And yet, as You see, the main role in the increase of tourist flow plays in the promotion of the country, advertising, or pricing policy?
Success never depends on one factor. It is always a complex job. Of course, we have competitive price and successful advertising. We are always in direct contact with tour operators, agree about the interesting contracts.
On the forum if it is 2016, we talked a lot about the relationship between tourism and government. That only now the Russian officials began to perceive the industry as strategically important for the entire economy. You have in Andorra there is a problem?
In Andorra it is exactly the opposite – government institutions are leaders and ideological inspirers to promote tourism. Andorran tour operators are all small, we must help them to aware of them spread outside of Andorra. There is the Andorra Tourism. It was established by the government and is responsible for the organization and holding of major events and shows such as Cirque du Soleil performance, a stage of the Tour de France, the fashion Festival and is a sponsor of the stages of the world Cup finals in Alpine skiing, world Cup mountainbike and international competitions.
In monetary terms, the contribution to tourism what?
18 million euros allocated for the organization of various sports and cultural events all over the world annually.
We do not like the word “subsidy”. We can support some action, but not the structure. We do events, and tour operators to bring tourists. Only such a scheme. The budget for promotion.
Photo: Dmitry Plisov
To Andorra annually attracts 10 million tourists. Themselves Andorrans rest?
As residents of any country where there is no sea, we are committed to the beach. Costa Brava, Costa Dorada – our favorite coast. Once a year Andorrans travel away.
Frankly, for residents of Andorra, Russia is still the undiscovered country. I’m not here for the first time, I was impressed with Sochi and Krasnaya Polyana. I see a lot of potential but he’s not so well known in our country. Not only Russia, but many countries have their own clichés, which makes them closed to tourists. Return to Andorra I will talk to our local travel agents about all the benefits of your great country as a tourist destination.
On the forum that feel the most useful?
The signing of the agreement on cooperation with the Krasnaya Polyana. We are very interested in the Russian experience, in particular the casino project. As well as the strategic development of the project “Gorky Gorod”.
In Andorra for 60 years the development of domestic tourism, we have extensive experience in the promotion of the resort, technology, content and management of trails ski stations to the ski season was a success. We will share the experience.
In may 2017 Andorra will host the 68th Congress of the international Federation real estate (FIABCI). The conference gave us the opportunity to meet with representatives from that sector and invite them to participate in a world-class event.
As you can see, Andorra is waiting for Russian tourists, we are open to active
the cooperation and are sure that the tourist flow between our countries will grow
in parallel to strengthening our relationships in the development of the tourism