Peter Morrell hears about the plans for Catalonia’s Year of Cultural Tourism 2019
- Six new cultural routes unveiled
- Unique street murals in London and Manchester by renowned Barcelona artist Sergio Mora
- ‘Legends of Catalonia’ launched – the VR game created by the tourist board in partnership with Sony, and a destination marketing first
The Catalan Tourist Board held an event at London’s Guildhall recently to promote Catalonia’s culture and heritage product during its Year of Cultural Tourism 2019.
The year-long focus is designed to assert the role of culture as a competitive point of differentiation for the destination and to drive economic distribution to the region’s territories.
Catalonia’s rich cultural story is world-famous, from Tarragona’s ancient Roman ruins to
Surrealist and Art Nouveau works from masters Gaudí, Miró, Picasso and Salvador Dalí; through to nine UNESCO World Heritage, Romanesque churches and ancient monasteries.
At the event, entitled Catalonialand, an immersive virtual reality experience brought to life a series of six new cultural routes specially created by the Catalan Tourist Board to showcase the cultural wealth, heritage and landscapes across the region, as well as the famous Catalan gastronomy and wines.
The routes range from following the Mediterranean Coast to the path of the Pyrenees, discovering the inland heritage to visits to vineyards and monasteries, small historical villages and Barcelona’s famous city sights.
Aicard Guinovart, Director United Kingdom and Ireland at Catalan Tourist Board said:
“The United Kingdom is the second largest source market for tourism in Catalonia attracting over 2 million tourists in 2018 and generating £1.6 million in expenditure – a 12.8% increase on 2017. So it is important for us to connect with UK travel trade and media and show them what our region has to offer this year. We know that Catalonia’s rich cultural offering is a key area of interest to visitors so hope that by working closely with our partners in the UK to grow this even further this year.”
The Catalan Tourist Board’s launched the new campaign which will amongst other things feature Barcelona artist, Sergio Mora. He has been commissioned to create a series of hand-painted street murals inspired by Catalonia’s cultural story at locations in London and Manchester. The Barcelona artist, also known as MAGICOMORA, has won a Grammy and recently collaborated with Philippe Stark and Gucci.
The Catalan Tourist Board’s game, ‘Legends of Catalonia’, developed in partnership with Sony to promote the region’s culture and history was showcased. The game, which utilises Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality was launched at the end of last year and is an industry first – the first instance of a tourism organisation using these technologies for destination promotion.
Players select well-known personalities – ex Barcelona FC captain Carles Puyol, mountaineer Edurne Pasaban and chefs the Roca brothers – before facing a series of challenges as they traverse across the region. Iconic sites featured include Tarragona’s Roman amphitheatre, Lleida’s old cathedral, the mountain range of Montserrat, Dalí’s Cadaqués, Barcelona’s Sant Antoni market and the Sagrada Família church.
The game can be downloaded free from the PlayStation store or through the Legends of Catalonia app through Google Play and the App Store.
The event was opened by the Catalan Tourist Board’s film, The Route of Fate, which won the Grand Prix CIFFT for the world Best Tourism Film 2018.
For information on visiting Catalonia visit: www.catalunya.com