With almost 1.1 million visitors per year, generating 5.3 million overnight stays, Lloret de Mar is the third-ranked municipality in Catalonia in terms of tourist numbers. This summer’s key developments include the destination’s smart city strategy, aimed at enhancing visitors’ tourism experience, and its safety and public behaviour efforts, devised to ensure greater harmony between local residents and tourists.
The Mayor of Lloret de Mar, Jaume Dulsat, says its business as usual this season: “We’ve done our homework to repeat last year’s figures. The initiatives we’re presenting today are geared towards increasing visitor satisfaction and strengthening our teams in security and public behaviour matters.”
Big data projects
One of the key developments this summer is the implementation of a smart tourism programme, which analyses the behaviour and satisfaction of tourists in the destination and their participation in social networks.
The chosen tool for this programme is the smart platform developed by Mabrian exclusively for the tourism sector, simultaneously combining different information sources to apply artificial intelligence to tourist data, carrying out a multi-variable analysis by means of algorithms that incorporate Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Machine Learning techniques that turn the gathered data into useful knowledge for decision making. The tool compiles online behaviour patterns such as searches, social network content and evaluations, creating a huge database which in combination with the knowledge of destination managers is turned into tourism intelligence.
Staying with the smart destination theme, the roll-out of Lloret’s free Wi-Fi service has continued this year and now includes Fenals Beach, where seven access points have been installed, in addition to the 11 points already in place on Lloret Beach since last summer. Over the last few months, the number of users of the Wi-Fi network has steadily risen, reaching 44,791 unique users in June with an average of 4,109 users per day. Total data consumption for June was 10 TB.
Blue Flag Seal. Lloret de Mar has once again been awarded the annual Blue Flag seal for all its beaches: Lloret, Fenals, Santa Cristina, Sa Boadella and Canyelles. Lloret de Mar, Ametlla de Mar and Barcelona are the three municipalities in Catalonia with the largest number of blue flag beaches. The seal is awarded by an international jury of the Foundation for Environmental Education, in conjunction with the Environmental Education and Consumer Association (the foundation’s Spanish partner). The Blue Flag is a world-renowned seal.
Gastronomy. A new project has been brought to life thanks to an agreement between Lloret Turisme, The Lloret Bars and Restaurant Association and the Lloret de Mar Hotel and Restaurant Guild, in partnership with the Alícia Foundation. Its goal is to make Lloret a high quality gastronomic destination with its own special character. The first phase, which has just begun, focuses on Healthy Cuisine and encourages establishments to sign up to the AMED* Mediterranean diet programme. So far, around 20 establishments have requested the AMED seal. Once the summer season has ended, plans are in place to offer training programmes on food allergy/intolerance management and on vegetarian eating.
Civic behaviour initiatives
This year’s civic behaviour campaign focuses on noise pollution and aims to raise visitors’ awareness of the need to respect the peace and quiet of local residents and pedestrians, especially on Avinguda Just Marlés and the surrounding streets, where most of Lloret’s nightlife establishments are concentrated. As such, a fun ear-shaped character has been designed to star in this campaign, grabbing people’s attention in the street with slogans in English (Enjoy the silence; Make peace not noise; Love your ears) that encourage them to make less noise in order to ensure good citizen coexistence, especially at night.
The street-based elements of the campaign (banners and advertising panels) are complemented with materials designed especially for participating establishments: display signs for dwellings for tourist use (DTUs) and hotels, open/closed signs for shops and coasters for bar and restaurant terraces.
This summer also sees the incorporation of a team of four civic agents deployed during the daytime in the beach area and four civic agents permanently deployed at night, entrusted with supervising, providing information and, where necessary, dissuading people from bad practices and breaches of municipal by-laws on civic behaviour. The team’s goal is to improve security and citizen coexistence, as well as to safeguard public areas. The agents work in partnership with the local police as a dissuasive and preventive measure.
Another new development is a pilot scheme on Avinguda Just Marlés involving the incorporation of daytime street terraces with the goal of creating a new recreational space.
New by-law on Dwellings for Tourist Use
This year, Lloret de Mar has been leading the way in Catalonia in respect of its policy on DTUs thanks to a new by-law that obliges the registered dwellings (of which there more than 2,900) to display a sign that indicates the maximum number of guests, the licence number and the contact details of the person responsible for the dwelling. A team of inspectors carries out compliance checks.
About Lloret de Mar
Lloret de Mar is one of Spain’s top five coastal destinations in terms of hotel bed places and is the only municipality on the Costa Brava with year-round occupancy. With almost 1.1 million visitors per year, generating 5.3 million overnight stays, Lloret de Mar is the third-ranked municipality in Catalonia in terms of tourist numbers. The city boasts 38,000 residents of more than 100 nationalities, who’ve made it a melting pot of world cultures.
(*) To obtain AMED certification it’s necessary to cook with olive oil, incorporate vegetable-based and wholemeal ingredients in the menu, and foster the responsible consumption of wine and other alcoholic beverages, among other requirements.
Short-term target: 50% of establishments (hotels and restaurants) with certification by the end of 2019. In the specific case of hotels, those which have expressed an interest in taking part in this programme account for 12,000 of Lloret’s 29,000 bed places.