Minister of tourism of Andorra Francesc Camp tells all-andorra.com on development of tourism in Andorra in 2015:
What are the perspectives of tourism development between Andorra and Russia: the dynamics of growth of number of Russian tourists for the last 10 years in the winter and summer seasons?
Since 1995, when we started to receive Russian tourist, the figures are growing year by year. Actually, we just closed the winter season with an increase of around 17% . This year wasn’t’ the exception, we started to have a very significant increase of Russian clients since 2009 and we really hope that in future we will continue to be attractive for the Russians. Apart of increasing the number of tourists during the winter, the Russian tourists are the one that longer stays in our country with an average stay of 8 nights.
Trying to stimulate number of Russian tourists to visit their countries, governments of Egypt, China, different European countries, many others, regularly organize big PR and advertisement campains on Russian TV and newspapers. Does the Ministry of tourism of Andorra plan large-scale PR-campaign in Russia to attract more tourists?
Andorra is a small country that receives 8 million visitors per year, which generate around 7 million roomnights. To maintain and even to increase these figures, we should be very active in different markets and face with different countries that compete with us. Our way of doing marketing in Russia is different in comparison with the rest of the countries. We are very ambitious with the online campaign as we could focus our efforts to impact a specific target. Toady’s online media give us this possibility and we like to take profit on that. Last winter we generated more than 500.000 views of our advertisement video clip through Youtube with a campaign of only one month duration. At the same time, our aim is to generate visit to our web, visitandorra.com. It is in Russian also and through the recognition of the origin of the client through the IP, we can generate specific messages and exclusive contents for the Russian market. It is important to mention also that for the last years we based our strategy in promoting together with the major tour operators that have Andorra as one of their principal destination. We create joint marketing campaign with them at key booking momentums, as we believe that the Russian market is very important to Andorra. Even though we radically decreased our presence as Andorra at different travel fairs in Europe , we maintain our presence in the tourism exhibition that takes place in Moscow in September.
What are the joint projects in the field of tourism of the government of Andorra with Russian government or other organizations?
Both governments are working very closely together. We have signed in the past cooperation agreements that are not only related to the tourism field. Last year we have organized together with the ministry of the Foreign affairs of Russia the first “Russian week” in Andorra, where locals have had the opportunity to know by first-hand what the Russian Culture is and our visitors also had the chance to feel even more at home being in our country. Another example is that this past winter we had the pleasure to have the Marinsky orchestra playing in Andorra.
For Russian tourists now Andorra is only the ski resort or one day trip from Barcelona for shopping. How the Ministry of tourism Andorra intends to develop tourism in the summer? The largest investment projects that are planned in the near future (construction of a water aquapark, cable car, new golf courses, etc.)?
It is more than true that years ago, Andorra was just a ski resort for our Russian visitors, but today we can say that thanks to the promotion done together with the tour operators and with our campaigns, Andorra is much more than a place where you can only ski. Nearly 50.000 Russians are visiting us during the summer. The major number that visit us in summertime are just coming for the day, but the last years we have seen an increase of them that stays for at least one night. They come attracted by our nature, the activities that can be done in our mountains such the ones organized by Naturlandia with the Tobotronc, the largest alpine toboggan in the world, or Vallnord one of the best known bike parks in Europe. Important to mention also that Vallnord will host another mountain bike world cup stage in 2015. And Grandvalira, where you can practice mountain bike or either play and enjoy the amazing views of the highest golf course (9 holes) in Europe.
At the same time we are keen to organize a special and different cultural events for our visitors. Last year we reached an agreement with Cirque du Soleil to create a unique and exclusive event for Andorra. Scalada was created with different performances during the month of July. This show generated high interest for the Rusians, especially for those spending their summer holidays at the Catalan seaside. 90% percent of attendance was achieved and the Russians became the second nation in number of visitors after the Spaniards.
Due to the success of the last year Cirque du Soleil’s event, the experience will be repeated this year with the completely new, different and exclusive event, Scalada Mater Natura. We will have 17 performances starting on July 5 until August 3
The development of air communication with Andorra – when will be opened the airport in la Seu? Does the government of Andorra plan to build heliport? What the percentage of growth of number of tourists does the government predict after opening of an airport?
The airport Andorra – La Seu will be opened during this year. It is very difficult to make any estimation, but we are sure that having an airport located so close to Andorra it will be very beneficial for us. Even though, to be honest , due the distance with Russia and the length of the runway, it is almost impossible to receive planes directly from Moscow. It is planed to use the Barcelona and Toulouse airport as a connection airport for the aircrafts. Regarding the Heliport, it is in the government agenda and we hope that having a Heliport in Andorra will be soon a reality.
Development of business tourism in Andorra: is it popular now ? How does the government of Andorra stimulates this type of tourism? Basic grounds for holding international conferences, the main topics? Further plans for development of business tourism in Andorra?
We are aware of the increasing demand of the tourism business, and we are sure that Andorra has a big potential in that sector. We have hotels very well prepared to receive that type of tourism, we have a congress center with the latest technologies and what is very important all the activities are very close one to the other that makes possible to combine work with leisure. Climate is very good in Andorra, we have an average of 300 sunny days, and In addition we have to note that Andorra is one of the safest places in the world. We have created together with the private sector the Andorra Convention Bureau that can help anyone to organize their congress, seminar or incentive trip to Andorra.