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Ponta Delgada ,  June 26, 2012

Flights from Spain to S. Miguel and Terceira double during the summer


The increase of flights to the Spanish market with destination to Ponta Delgada and Terceira, which represents more 10,000 overnight stays than initially expected; the promotion of the Azores destination in the Dutch and German markets; and the creation of new products for the national market, such as the creation of a package for families and the Azores card, are some the measures announced by the Regional Secretary for the Economy, Luísa Schanderl, to mitigate the effects resulting from the failure of Finnish operator Hispania and the dropping overnight stays among the national market.

The government official spoke during a hearing with Commission on Economy Affairs of the Azorean Parliament and considered that "the promotional strategy developed by the Government of the Azores has sought to mitigate these effects." "In fact, she said, "we have registered a drop in the number of overnight stays since the beginning of the year. Our promotional strategies have focused on attraction of foreign tourists. For example, the German market grew over 60 percent last April" and a Spanish operator "doubled the flights planned for Ponta Delgada and Angra do Heroísmo.”

Moreover, Luísa Schanderl, also announced the reinforcement of the Azorean presence in the U.S. market with the creation of an initiative similar to 65 + in the flights to the United States and Canada "with attractive discount fares."

The Regional Secretary emphasised that the cancellation of Finland was due to the collapse of Finish operator that brought tourists to the Azores while the operations of Norway and Poland were cancelled because the demands were lower than expected. In the case of Poland, “this was an operation undertaken due to the interest expressed by the tour operator."

Anyway, "the cancellations have no financial impact on the Region since the support is only paid at the end of operations and upon submission of a report on programme implementation. Due to the cancellation of operations, the contracts which allocated the financial support according to the number of flights and the number of passengers will not be signed; therefore, these operators will not receive any payment," stressed the Regional Secretary for the Economy.

Luísa Schanderl recalled the "deep recession in the national market" that "may contribute to a further decline as the National Government has admitted the possibility of implementing more austerity measures and, consequently, the number of national tourists can drop even lower."

 The situation of the national market led the Region to create the Azores card, a product that allows national tourists travelling the Azores to have a close estimate "of the costs during their holidays."

"This card allows any family who chooses the Azores as a holiday destination to know exactly how much money will be spent on travel, accommodation and food." In fact, she added, "this card includes everything, but it allows tourists to have meals at the restaurant  they have chosen and, in addition, several alternatives will be provided according to the card price and the establishments comprised by this initiative."


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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