25 Mar, 2010 @ 13:37
1 min read

Successful failure for Spain tourist scheme

A FAILED tourism initiative that received no bookings in two years is set to be extended across Spain.

Called Privilege Spain, the scheme launched in 2008 promoting Jerez, La Rioja and the Basque region, cost four million euros.

In its first six months the project – backed by companies TUI Espana, Sur Incentive, Surways and Turandalus – drew just two requests for information.

However, the Ministry of Tourism announced it will enlarge the dubious scheme to cover Catalonia, Castilla y Leon, Madrid, Valencia and Galicia.

Marina Osborne, of Surways Exclusive Trip, from Jerez, explained: “The idea is very interesting and for two years we have worked very hard in promoting the idea.

“However, the truth is that up to now there have been no bookings.”

The project website offers a range of holiday packages ranging from basic to luxury.

It was aimed at travellers in the UK, Germany, France and Italy and was designed to promote the participating areas as tourism leaders.

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

Do you have a story? Contact newsdesk@theolivepress.es


  1. Aimed at UK travellers. If so, then why is there no English version to their website?

    If you can be bothered to wait for the website to load up you’ll soon understand why nobody has made any bookings. The only thing this the website has going for it is the cheesy music and nice pictures, otherwise it’s practically useless!


  2. Well,considering the shameful attitude of the country: demolitions,refusal to honour insurance,etc etc etc,the country doesn’t really deserve any tourism income!Come to think of it,the service industry in Andalucia isn’t much to write home about,either!

  3. If “Privilege Spain” offer anything like the kind of help with information or bookings and services that the rest of Spain do with Service and Aftercare in General, which are totally unheard of then of course it’s doomed to failure.In Cadiz for instance the manners of shop and store staff are pretty non-existant, again generally,and the one thing Spain has does NOT have is an AFTERCARE SERVICE full stop!

  4. For permanent residents here with Andalucia being the region worse hit with the paro, any increase with tourism is a welcome, and just a shame that the comments on here, are obviously from people who prefer to see the area ruined, and only have criticism…….
    Spain has a lot to offer- and is steeped in tradition and history, but if it´s not for you, then stick to the UK.

  5. Erm, Michelle I don’t see where exactly I preferred to “see the area ruined”. And as for criticism, sometimes that can be a positive thing and lead to improvements. Anyway, if you had actually read my comment properly, you should have realised that I was referring to the Privilege Spain website and not “the area”. The website has so many things wrong with it, it’s not exactly surprising only two requests for information have come through, and I’m astonished it cost 4 million euros. Somebody somewhere has made a lot of money! Actually, maybe I’m not that astonished…

  6. When it comes to tourism it is true that Andalucia has much to offer. It’s just a pity that so much of it is done so badly, and then run so badly afterwards. I have seen countless tourism schemes started and abandoned, millions of euros wasted. Likewise, I have lost count of the number of people I know who run businesses in Andalucia, who have tried to run a tourist or other rural tourism project, only to be shot down with the most stupid bureaucracy, lack of support, lack of information, lack of communication, indeed lack of interest.

    Money is also allocated very haphazardly to projects here, and even to totally unsuitable projects which will not actually do anything to improve tourism. There is rarely any input from residents on such matters. Frustrating place to run a business, Spain, it will make it is difficult as possible for you to achieve, and that’s a fact.

    As for the PrivilegeSpain concept, it seems to have died a death, and as Justin said, it looks like someone was ripped off big time here. They should have spent the 4 million on rebuilding the roads!

  7. No bookings??? Seriously??? So basically your average Spanish Owner renting their home out to Holiday Makers from Northern Europe have contributed more to the Spanish Tourism Industry levels. That is astounding.

    What’s not astounding is that they take the typically Spanish attitude of completely ignoring their failings and patting themselves on the back for what little they got right.

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