"Tourist friendly", this is how the new Strategic Plan for Tourism in Madrid 2012-2015 establishes the Spanish capital should position itself for international tourism. The new slogan to promote tourism was presented this Monday, 23 April by the Mayor of Madrid, Ana Botella.
Part of this strategy is the creation of a Tourism Advisory Council with participation of key stakeholders, increasing the areas of Madrid which are influenced by tourism and its consumption; the usage of unique messages in the promotion of Madrid; the creation in the Internet of a "single digital multichannel and multi-language environment " that includes the marketing of products and services with the end customer and with industry professionals; support for events of interest and the creation of a Network of Large Urban Spanish Destinations, to which other major cities in Spain like Seville, Valencia and Barcelona are invited to participate.
The current tourist promotion slogan: Madrid "tourist friendly" adds to the existing 'Madrid, un estilo de vida’ (Madrid: a lifestyle) and 'Madrid, negocios que son un placer’ (Madrid: delightful businesses) because, in the words of the mayor, "we want to go further, consolidating the achievements but changing the vision of tourism to turn it into one of the backbones of economic, cultural and sport life of the city."
Sports have a special emphasis, since Madrid is applying to host the 2020 Olympic Games. That is why the various tourism improvement plans have sport-related names:
• 'El Madrid + Real' (the most real Madrid, but also a wordplay with the famous soccer team), focusing on the most known and visited by tourists in terms of historical and cultural heritage;
• 'Madrid gana de cerca’ (Madrid wins from closer, alluding to tight matches), which goes beyond the traditional tourist circuit and shows facets of Madrid which are not usually known in a first visit, including routes through neighborhoods like La Latina, Las Letras, Madrid Rio and Salamanca.
• 'Madrid plays off', which brings together the most innovative tourism offer in the city: alternative neighborhoods as Cueca, Malsaña, Lavapies, Triball or Conde Duque, the 'New Art walk' and creation centers such as Matadero Madrid, Tobacco and La Casa Encendida.
According to the Deputy Mayor of Madrid, Miguel Angel Villanueva, "no city in Europe has currently such a defined strategy for continuing to grow and generate wealth, employment and added value to the destination."
A plan with such a strong focus on the tourism sector will undoubtedly result in increased accommodation offer in Madrid, which will make it easier to find apartments in Madrid and other cities in Spain. The city has already a well established connections of outbound and inbound tours in Madrid, so most efforts would be focused on accommodation.
Renting apartments is presented as an alternative to traditional accommodation in hotels or hostels, offered in many cases by individuals who allow travellers to rent a whole apartment, a room in their apartment or even, in some cases, share a room of their house with other travelers, or with the permanent residents.
If you do not like this type of options you can also go for other alternatives like staying at a bed and breakfast near Madrid, where you will have almost the privacy of an apartment, but some services of the style of a hotel or hostel depending on the specific establishment you choose.
These alternatives are also good choices when you have a specific preference for a place in which availability of hotels and hostels can be limited or costly. That's why if you look, for example, for accommodation in the center of Barcelona, it may be easier to find apartments there for a good rate that hotels or inns that meet your needs.
There are variety of websites today that allow you to search for apartments and refine your search choosing a bed and breakfast accommodation near Madrid or accommodation in the center of Barcelona, among others. This time we recommend one of them: Wimdu, which lets you to also choose the specific area of the city, segment your search by neighborhood or narrow by type of accommodation, services available, prices and many other options to find the perfect place for your next holidays in Spain .
Madrid is becoming more "tourist friendly", and so is Spain.