As a part of the portal’s promotional strategy, Event Planner Spain has just played host to a journalist from Meeting Professionals International (MPI). Jessica States, sub-editor of The Meeting Professional, the well-known international meetings industry magazine, was in Andalusia from 13-20 October 2007.
In view of the shortness of the familiarisation trip, Jessica States chose to focus on the provinces of Malaga, Cadiz and Granada, each of which having its own theme.
Luxury business tourism
The theme chosen for Malaga and the Costa del Sol was luxury business tourism. After a tour of the city – courtesy of Malaga Town Council – and visiting the Hammam and the Picasso Museum, Jessica States stayed at the recently opened convention hotel Molina Lario.
On Monday, the journalist, accompanied by Thomas MacFarlane, content manager of Event Planner Spain, paid a visit to Malaga’s state-of-the-art Congress and Trade Show Centre, which will be hosting MPI’s PEC-Europe conference in 2010.
Continuing westwards along the coast, they stopped at the fabulous five-star Torrequebrada Hotel before going on to Puente Romano – one of the most emblematic hotels on Marbella’s “Golden Mile” – for a delicious lunch at the Beach Club Restaurant, followed by a tour of the hotel and its meeting facilities.
The afternoon agenda included a tour of the modern, five-star Crowne Plaza Estepona Hotel and a relaxing session in its spa facilities, before driving on to the Gran Elba Estepona, where after a tour of the hotel and its award-winning spa facilities they had an excellent dinner at the Al Andalus restaurant and enjoyed the comforts of the hotel’s excellently appointed junior suites.
On the Tuesday, after visiting the magnificent Hotel Don Pepe in Marbella, they drove on to Greenlife Golf, where the chef of El Lago restaurant, the first on the Costa del Sol to be awarded a Michelin star, had prepared them a succulent tasting menu.
The next leg of the familiarisation trip took them to Cadiz, where the theme was to be outdoor tourism as a complement to business tourism. Before reaching Cadiz, they stopped briefly at Vejer de la Frontera to meet the young and dynamic outdoor suppliers Nature Explorer, who organise their activities in four of the province’s natural parks.
Once in Cadiz, they visited the well-appointed Senator Cadiz Spa Hotel in the old part of town, where they stayed the night after a wonderful dinner at the renowned El Faro restaurant.
Wednesday’s programme included a visit to Cadiz’s unique Congress and Trade Show Centre and a tour of the historic centre of the city and tapas, courtesy of the Cadiz Tourist Board.
The last stop in the province of Cadiz was at La Peñuela, on the road to Arcos de la Frontera, a splendid Andalusian farmstead and estate, which as well as a variety of highly original event venues, also offers horse and bullfighting shows and a wide choice of outdoor activities typical of the area.
Cultural tourism was the theme for the province of Granada and the luxurious Barcelo La Bobadilla the first stop on the agenda. After touring the magnificent estate and facilities, they had a well-earned spa treatment and a magnificent dinner at La Finca restaurant, before retiring to two of the hotel’s beautiful suites.
Thursday took them to the city of Granada, where after visiting the Rodriguez-Acosta Foundation, a highly original event venue with unbeatable views of the city, they toured the Albaycin and lunched in the centre, both courtesy of the Granada Tourist Board.
In the afternoon, after stopping by the city’s Congress and Trade Show Centre, they visited the AC Santa Paula, where they would be staying the night, a fabulous five-star hotel in the very centre of town composed of three heritage buildings, including a convent and a Moorish house. Before dinner at La Pataleta, they paid a visit to La Chumbera, a series of cave dwellings used for events of all kinds, with breathtaking views of La Alhambra.
After visiting La Alhambra on Friday morning, they returned to Malaga to meet Alberto Rojas of the DMC España Incoming & Incentives and Francisco Quereda of the Malaga Convention Bureau over a splendid lunch at Palocortado, one of the best restaurants in Malaga.
The last visit of the trip was to the Gran Hotel Guadalpin Marbella Spa. After a tour of the hotel’s top-rate facilities, they had a truly memorable dinner at the one-star Michelin Mesana.
Coverage in The Meeting Professional
The main article is due to be published in the April 2008 number of The Meeting Professional, a magazine with a readership of over 30,000 meeting professionals worldwide. In addition, a short article will be appearing in the magazine’s December 2007 edition.
This initiative responds to Event Planner Spain’s strategy of promoting Andalusia among the world prime movers in the global event industry. The portal is member of MPI, as well as having an agreement with the association to translate the magazine’s featured articles into Spanish.
Event Planner Spain would like to thank Europcar for their collaboration.