Recently some of Spain’s top tourist attractions received extensive international publicity as the world’s media came to follow America’s First Lady around some of the country’s most popular attractions and locations. In a whirl wind tour lasting just five days Michelle Obama was escorted around Andalucia and across to Majorca.
The trip was announced suddenly close to the end of July as a private family trip (although her husband did not accompany her) and was it seems well planned. Spain during the last 2 years has seen more than its fair share of negative headlines but with Spain recently winning the World Cup the visit was able to extend Spain’s time in the spotlight of the world’s media making it famous again for some of the reasons it originally became popular rather than the negative headlines.
Although “Moochelle” Obama as she has become known personally received a lot of criticism for the trip and has been likened to Marie Antoinette, Spain has come away from it a lot stronger at a time when hotels and and package holidays were seeing a sharp decline in visitors (although villa rentals in Spain were performing well).
Apart from the short term boost to occupancy rates as the world’s media converged on the Costa del Sol it is hoped by many that the trip has helped to raise or at least restore Spain’s profile as a premier international holiday destination. The main places that Michelle visited and are likely to see the greatest rise in interest include the Costa del Sol (both Malaga and Marbella), Sevilla, Granada (including the already popular Alhambra Palace) and the island of Majorca where she met the Spanish Royal family.
Michelle’s trip was followed closely across the globe, including in China where 50,000,000 passport holders plan on traveling abroad in the next year. Spain was already reported (in the Spanish media) as being the favourite destination and the recent coverage seems to have only boosted the interest of Asian countries in Spain.
With the Alhambra Palace just on the doorstep of the Costa Tropical the coming years may well see an increase in visitors from Asian countries who are looking to holiday here and to find villa rentals in Spain on the Costa Tropical. Further, apart from solving the problem of dwindling tourist numbers the newly rich Asian market may also be able to provide a new supply of purchasers for real estate in Spain as they look to invest their new found wealth abroad.