Spain turns to social media to refresh image


The Spanish Institute of Tourism is looking to expand the image of Spain beyond a destination for the traditional “sun and beach” holiday by using social media.


It has launched a campaign on leading social networks including Twitter, Youtube and Facebook under the strapline “Spain, a country to share”.


While Spain remains the largest destination for UK holidaymakers in terms of the sheer volume of visitors it attracts – around 6 million a year – it has been hit by the downturn and the strength of the Euro against the pound.


The new Spanish online campaign will offer potential visitors to the country an inside view of what it has to offer by getting Spaniards to share their tips on Spain’s hidden corners and best places to experience its culture and food.


A question and answer service called Formspring.me has been launched which it is hoped will drive users to its existing Facebook page which groups suggestions under categories such as where to find the best sunset in Spain, the most original patron saint festival and best night time party.


The Facebook page is also offering a free week’s vacation in Spain for three consecutive years in a competition called The Best Feeling Ever, the winner being voted for by fellow Facebook users.


The tourism authority has also created an English micro-site www.spainacountrytoshare.com offering tourist information and anecdotes from visitors, a trip planning tool and map showing the best places to visit.


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