Six out of ten passengers that arrive in Spain do so using low-cost airlines (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The latest data on foreign tourist arrivals indicate an increase of 4.5 percent in July, with many of the nearly seven million travellers who entered Spain by air boarding a low-cost flight. Meaning that in July, one of every six visitors enjoyed low cost rates to travel to Spain - 10 percent more than the same month last year. The main company responsible for this increase is Irish airline Ryanair, which is expanding in the Spanish market. In a year, they have seen their market share increase from 13.6 percent to 17.2 percent of the total of all budget airlines. In the first six months of the year, 42.7 percent of the total flights using El Prat airport (who sees Ryanair operations start next week) were with low cost airlines. This was similar to last year's figures which stood at 42.3 percent. However, in July El Prat saw an increase of 5 percent of low cost flights, however this trend is predicted to change radically thanks to the arrival of Ryanair at the airport. The airline hopes to reach 2.5 million passengers a year and a 56 percent share of the low cost travel market. In contrast to Barcelona, Madrid's Barajas airport has increased their quota of low-cost flights by 23 percent in July and 25 percent in the last seven months of the year were thanks to Ryanair.
The government have promised to mount police pressure and campaigns against 'top manta' (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). Calafell and El Vendrell have disallowed the free zones they had set aside for the illegal merchants after business owners call for public awareness plans. A meeting which convened yesterday held by Interior minister Joan Saura. Despite high tension between traders accusing the government of abandoning them, the meeting served to temper the mood and resolve the controversy created by the mayors of El Vendrell, Benet Jané, and Jordi Sánchez from Calafell. Yesterday both municipalities agreed to put an end to their tolerance zones by September 1st. In return Saura, promised that before that date they will receive a boost to the number of Mossos, who will work with local police to prevent street vendors working in tourist areas. With regards to other areas in Catalunya the solutions were more vague, they agreed medium-term measures to combat the problem, for instance forming a committee to monitor the phenomenon which will be formed by the councils, government and the state. The council announced it would increase the number of investigations on counterfeiting networks that provide the goods the street vendors sell and the governmental delegation pledged to increase controls over illegal immigrants in the groups of illegal vendors. Saura said of the forthcoming campaign to raise awareness said: "In carrying out awareness campaigns to persuade the public not to buy the goods and that they only contribute to job losses in Catalunya and perpetuate slavery situations." The mayor of Calafell said of the turnaround,"we will start work immediately with the Mossos. We lacked support before, we were overwhelmed, but the horizon has changed."
Ferran Adrià to put his creativity at the service of the Costa Brava tourist board (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The chef Ferrran Adrià explained yesterday that he will dedicate his "creativity and talent" to shape a project to promote tourism in the Costa Brava which will include a new gastronomic research centre in the location where his El Bulli restaurant is. The press conference which was held at the restaurant was attended by president of the Generalitat, José Montilla, who indicated the the government should provide "certain resources to keep Catalunya as an international reference." Adrià has already revealed his first idea, to create picnic zones in the parks of the Costa Brava, something that would attract visitors who can "not afford to eat at a restaurant."