MENORCA, AN ISLAND FOR SPORT
Friday 2 November 2018, London: The Balearic Island of Menorca has today unveiled its new tourism strategy, ‘Menorca, an island for sport’ which capitalises on the island’s natural resources and sports facilities, as well as an increasing worldwide demand for sports tourism.
At a presentation in London, Menorca’s Tourism Minister, Maite Salord, joined Joan Febrer from Menorca’s Sports Association and Matias Ximelis from Menorca-based organisation ‘Cycling Friendly’ to outline the island’s new strategy.
Over the past few years, there has been a steady growth in demand for sports tourism with an increasing number of holidaymakers identifying sport as the primary reason for travel. This is endorsed by the fact that sports tourism now represents 25% of the total tourism income worldwide (according to the World Travel & Tourism Council).
In 2017, 10.6 million people travelled to Spain for sports tourism (+5.9%), spending over 12.8 million euros, marking an 8.9% year-on-year increase in tourism expenditure. Sports tourism expenditure is approximately 20% more than the average, creating significant opportunities for destinations with the appropriate resources and infrastructure.
For Menorca, the sports tourism opportunities stretch beyond just spending power. Sports tourists typically travel outside of the main summer season, also addressing seasonality objectives and helping to create more secure job opportunities.
Menorca is competitive as a sport destination for many reasons: the environment is well preserved with the island celebrating 25 years since it was acknowledged by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve, there are over 300 days of sunshine a year; the coastline is 220km long and the ancient path which circles the island, the Camí de Cavalls, offers unparalleled opportunities for cyclists, walkers, horse-riders and trail-runners.
In recent years, the public and private sector, together with the Menorcan community have made a concerted effort to restore the Camí de Cavalls path for public use and have succeeded in turning it into an important tourism feature. In 2017, the path was also a recipient of funding from the Balearic Islands’ Sustainable Tourism Tax with a committed investment of over €260,600.00 targeted at management and restoration.
Menorca has a wide range of sport competitions held every year for both amateur and professional athletes such as marathons, trail running, cycle races and sail regattas, all contributing to a premium sports calendar. For 2019, the calendar will be expanded with the addition of a major event, the World Padel Tour championships which will take place from 20 to 27 October 2019. Other significant events include the Lighthouse Trail Run, Epic Trail Camí de Cavalls 360º, Fornells Half Marathon, MECUP (International Youth Football Tournament for the Menorca Cup), Trail Menorca Camí de Cavalls, the Classic Ships Regatta Copa del Rey, Artiem Half Menorca Triathlon, XVII International Cycling Tour of Menorca, mountain-bike tour BTT Menorca, Menorca Half Marathon, TP 52 Super Series regatta and the 10/5 miles city of Mahón race.
Complementing the busy sports calendar, Menorca also offers a sophisticated network of quality hotel accommodation with excellent sports facilities, as well as superb gastronomy, successfully meeting the growing demands of sports travellers.
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