In this phase of recovery of the tourist activity, the campaign invites the tourist sector, the public sector and all citizens to share the proposals that would be recommended to a friend when visiting our town or region or the plans not for daily less extraordinary to the that we have returned in the months of confinement. The stories of unique experiences or experiences to conquer future visitors are recorded in an itinerant set through the towns of the region and will form an audiovisual guide created by La Rioja and La Riojans to highlight the attractions of the region.
The campaign plays with the multiple meanings of the word reserve, which refers to wine, the emblem of the region, and the action of reserving, but it also highlights the protected natural spaces, which are distinctive of a territory that represents no more than 1 percent of the surface of Spain but which houses the Biosphere Reserve of the valleys of Leza, Jubera, Cidacos and Alhama, the Sierra Cebollera Natural Park, six protected natural areas of the Natura 2000 Network and a network of more 650 kilometers of green routes.
La Rioja is vindicated in the campaign as a wine tourism benchmark, with its more than 400 wineries that spread the culture of wine in a growing experiential activity. Wine defines the identity of the region. And the wine story is linked to the landscape, history and lifestyle of its peoples. The campaign also affects the gastronomic value of La Rioja, a territory where the culture of tapas is nested, with cuisine based on the high quality of local produce, a gastronomy that is undergoing a revolution due to the confluence of proposals, recognition of its chefs who add Michelin stars and suns from the Repsol guide, a range of gastronomic formats that emerge and a coexistence of discourses that combine tradition and innovation without being labeled.
La Rioja is also presented as a cultural destination in its own right, on whose land three paths coexist: the French Camino de Santiago, the Camino Jacobeo del Ebro and the Camino Ignaciano, which have forged their hospitality throughout the centuries. Region inhabited by different cultures that sought settlement there and border between kingdoms, its monasteries treasure a rich cultural and artistic past and a universal historical legacy. La Rioja is the cradle of Castilian. In the Yuso Monastery, a World Heritage Site, the first words of the Spanish language were written in the 10th century.
The new normality is an opportunity factor for destinations such as La Rioja, an eminently rural region with a rich natural heritage, both values that travelers currently demand in destinations. Close to other reference destinations, its small size makes it easy to travel and the breadth of tourist resources is combined with a range of leisure, sports and active tourism activities that allow it to be a seasonally-adjusted destination. Its offer of accommodation grows in options of hotels and charming rural accommodation close to areas of natural value. La Rioja is also claimed as a safe and trusted destination, of excellence, a land that invites you to return.
Interview with Amaia López de Heredia, general director of Tourism of La Rioja
How has La Rioja dealt with the relaunch of tourist activity in this transitory period of new normality?
We are aware that the tourism sector has been one of the most affected by COVID-19 and will need more time than other sectors to return to normal, due to multiple factors. Therefore, it is essential to protect the tourist industry during this summer from the new normal and relaunch it at the right time, as we are doing, so that its reactivation occurs as quickly and efficiently as possible. For this reason, we have promoted the Tourism Relaunch Plan of the Government of La Rioja, which is endowed with 7.8 million euros.
What are the strategic lines of this Tourism Relaunch Plan?
The Tourism Relaunch Plan is based on four axes: the reopening in conditions of security and trust; tourist intelligence that makes it possible to monitor the behavior of travel and leisure consumers and training the sector through a Professional Tourism Classroom in La Rioja; economic recovery measures; and marketing promotion and support. In this last axis is where the campaign ‘Reserve to return, La Rioja reserve’ is framed, initially endowed with 1.1 million euros, aimed at the local and national market, with an initial regional focus (to convert La Rioja themselves in ambassadors), launched in a timely manner and modulated according to the information generated by the intelligence system.
What elements define La Rioja’s tourism strategy?
La Rioja’s tourism strategy aims to improve the economic and social impact of tourism activity in the territory. And this happens by improving tourism indicators, promoting the sector and maximizing the positive impacts that the development of the sector represents, in areas such as demographic challenges, employment or heritage preservation. The tourism strategy is based on the differential points of the region: wine tourism, gastronomy and also the character of the cradle of Castilian. Our strategic objective is for La Rioja to be recognized as a wine tourism reference worldwide. We are committed to a competitive sector and to improving the attractiveness of the destination, with strategic projects such as the digitization of the sector and the improvement of connectivity with key markets; the enhancement of resources and their conversion into tourism products with a rich, varied and attractive offer, capable of attracting increasing shares of visitors. And we also bet on a tourist promotion characterized by a defined, segmented, specialized approach, in which we invite you to discover this land with the name of wine and, in addition, all those other components of its offer.
And what are the attributes of the La Rioja brand?
We want to promote the transformation of La Rioja into a competitive, sustainable, inclusive, recognized and recognizable tourist destination for its lifestyle, with the culture of wine and the cradle of the Spanish language as maximum differentiating exponents, complemented with other resources and products, for its quality, innovation and service excellence culture. This objective must be accompanied by a transparent and participatory tourism governance model based on an attractive, economically and socially profitable portfolio of products, capable of attracting increasing flows of target visitors and meeting their needs. We want a clear customer orientation, a clear product-market focus. And a story on tourism promotion that is also clear and credible, according to the tourism brand whose redesign we are working on.
Links of interest
La Rioja TourismPublic tourism promotion company of the Government of La RiojaContact person: Violeta García. Receptive DepartmentTelephone: 941 287 354Contact mail: [email protected]Web: https://lariojaturismo.com/ Social networksTwitter @lariojaturismoFacebook @turismodelariojaInstagram @lariojaturismo