CASTELL-PLATJA D’ARO – Together we are strong, is the starting point of five municipalities on the Spanish Costa Brava aiming to be a reference for quality tourism.
The coastal towns in the Catalonia region – Platja d’Aro, Santa Cristina d’Aro, Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Palamós and Calonge – want to promote themselves better on the market for both domestic and international tourists. They have come up with the joint brand ‘The Village’. Ignoring the geographical boundaries, they are positioning themselves as a singular village to the tourism market.
“We have a very strong offer, but until now we have engaged in navel-gazing and competed with each other to attract tourists to our own village. Selling these villages together as one destination will help us all,” explained Manel Canadell, President of the Castell-Platja d’Aro y S’Agaró Entrepreneurs Association and initiator of the project. He hopes to receive financial support in this from the General Directorate of Tourism and from the province of Girona.
Five towns – one village
The five Costa Brava towns cover 150 square kilometres and have an extensive offer for tourists with various activities and experiences. Yet each town has its own identity and strengths. Sant Feliu stands out because of the Museu Thyssen; Palamos due to the cruise ships arriving and an extensive gastronomic offer with the red prawn as the star product. Santa Cristina d’Aro in turn has megalythic routes and an attractive golf course. Platja d’Aro in turn offers an extensive range of shops and commercial activities. Finally, Calonge i Sant Antoni stands out in the field of family tourism.
The initiative should also ensure that tourists continue to come outside the high season. Plus, that the initiative attracts more quality visitors, that is, visitors with a medium to high socio-economic profile.
Strategic plan in development
At the moment, the municipalities are busy designing a strategic plan. They will implement the plan as soon as possible, and before the tourist season. One of the first actions will be the launch of a joint website. It will include the complete range of hotels and other forms of accommodation, shops and leisure activities.
Ultimately, this is an area where there are more family hotels than mass tourism hotels. It also has relatively little to do with major tour operators, has a large number of second homes and – as long as the pandemic permits – is eager to welcome visitors back again.