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Archive for September, 2011

good to see some professional initiatives from tourist institutions in an attempt to tackle the   problem  of categorization and rating, more specifically in Catalonia.

first, there is a recognition of a long dating problem for apartments, nowadays under the law of housing, in a not distant future it should be integrated within tourism competences. apartments are considered one of the fields that escape from fiscal control and that compete directly with hotels especially in coastal areas and, in the last 10 years, in Barcelona city. it is easy to visit apartments with low guarantees of security or quality that blur the image of a modern country.

 second, in the domain of hotels, the introduction of two additional ratings, superior 4 star and grand luxury, plus it isbeing created a new category: family hotel with multibedded rooms adapted to the needs of this specific stripe of customers. the latter, a real need; the former it is likely to add confusion to the system that should seek simplification and fill international categories of: economy/budget-tourist-first-de luxe, i.e, maximum 4, and look for standardization of quality system certifications like Q or ISO, through international quality verification & rating companies.

other important changes are to be done also in rural establishments and campsites categories.

anyhow, we think that initiatives that tend to regulate minimally the market are to be supported, especially in tourism, an economic field that is often mentioned as a sample for free market believers that leave to users, actors and end-customers with little protection before bad professional practices.

see more in
http://www10.gencat.cat/gencat/AppJava/en/actualitat2/2011/10726imatgeicategoriadelshotelsdecatalunya.jsp

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Kristina princess arrived to Spain in 1257. she was married to king Alfonso X’s brother and lived in Sevilla for four years before she died, being 28 years old. her husband, Felipe, decided to bury her in Covarrubias where he had been living for a long time.before she died, she was promised that a church to Saint Olav would be built.

for years, Covarrubias had been a place of interest to norwegian citizens, art and history lovers mainly, as the town is not very close to any main route of attraction for tourists. eastern province of  Burgos, irrigated by Arlanza river, offers a handful of interesting places like Lerma, Salas de los Infantes, Santo Domingo de Silos and now one more reason to visit medieval town  of Covarrubias.

Atapuerca is not far either. in a pretty natural landscape, a group of architects from Valladolid School of Architecture has created a building in metal and wood, with a shape that gathers influences from local roman churches and other religious buildings. see more at: www.fundacionprincesakristina.com

the reason to bring this topic to this blog is to think first about nearness of both countries. we all know little Norway, l’Alfàs del Pi, being the second largest settlement of norwegians out of their home country, after London, some 11,000 people; also an intense trade relationship, from fishing farms in the mediterranean coast, to pharma, food, engineering, raw materials, furniture, war vessels, norwegian support to spanish financial debt, etc.

it is not difficult to walk in many norwegian cities and find tapas restaurants or talk to locals and discover that they have been so many times all over Spain, beyond coastal areas. we would like to simply thank and recognize this initiative for its reinforcement of mutual cultural knowledge.


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