Spain hands UK brief to Mango in 'cultural' drive

The Spanish Tourist Office has brought in fresh agency support as it switches its focus away from traditional images of sun, sea and sangria.

It has briefed Mango PR to entice UK holidaymakers to its shores by promoting Spain's diversity of culture, architecture and wildlife to the lifestyle press.

Mango will also host a Spanish-themed party on London's Regent Street in the autumn, including an attempt to make a record-breaking large paella.

'Everyone knows where Spain is and has an idea of the holiday experience they will have. But often these perceptions are generalised,' said Mango PR director Sarah Hurley. She reports to the Spanish Tourist Office's director of tourism in the UK, Ignacio Vasallo.

The move comes a year after Spain launched a 'back to basics' campaign, promoting its traditional sea and sunshine as superior to emerging destinations such as Croatia, Turkey and Egypt (PR Week, 8 Jan 2005).

Spanish tourism received a timely boost this month when Basque separatist group ETA pledged to end its 38-year campaign of violence. Last year an ETA blast in Alicante injured three Britons.
Mango replaces BGB Communications, which declined to repitch after a year handling the account.

The three-strong team will be supported by the Spanish Tourist
Office's Emily Herreras, who will work within the agency.

The Independent reported this week that Catalonian authorities are planning to clamp down on drunk and disorderly visitors.

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