The Asian Invasion Of Mijas
24 January 2012
Published at 20:30 Comments (3)
Every day of the year at least half a dozen coaches arrive in Mijas and disencumber their load of Asia tourists on to the streets. The vast majority are Japanese, but some are South Korean or Chinese. They galavant franticly around the historic parts of the village accompanied by a simple photocopied map.
Others have a tour guide and their pace is more leisurely. They Photograph everything, and I mean everything! I was having a beer with some friends in the small Bar Cueva 'The Cave Bar', when a large group bustled in chatting feverishly. They first photographed the beer pump, then the bar tender, then a few cheap pictures on the wall, then they were gone! We were left staring at each other wondering if we had momentarily slipped into an altered reality.
I have always found them to be gracious and warm when engaged in conversation. One Japanese couple a came up to me whilst having coffee to ask directions to the tourist office, we however ended up chatting for half an hour, we shared stories of our different cultures and customs, quite fascinating! The couple told me how they related to the Andalusian People as they shared the same core values of family, Traditions and food.
This is Aidian Lim and his wife, they are from South Korea, they are on their honeymoon and traveled up to Mijas on public transport, having booked independently. Aidian said "Mijas is like a time capsule, we have nothing like this in Korea" and promised to return.
I once found myself caught up with a tour, and, as I found myself swept along with the flow, I struck up with the guide. His name was Juan Antonio, he is employed buy the town hall to and is kept very busy. He speaks no Japanese or Korean so he guides in Spanish and English, he explained that on average half of the tourist he takes around speak one or other of these languages and they translate to their companions.
Juan with his tour.
You will get asked directions quite often on in Mijas and I'm not surprised! The map takes a bit of orientation before it becomes clear what is where! I know the village, and I find it hard understand the map, so what chance to our oriental friends have, but with a lot of pointing I can usually direct the people to where they want to go
The Town hall here value the Asian tourist and are in close touch with the Far Eastern tour operators to keep them updated with the Mijas brand.
Just recently the Mijas Councillor for Tourism, Santiago Martin, Held a meeting with major Asian providers ahead of the International tourist Fair 'FITUR' in Madrid. In this meeting Santiago presented Mijas as not just a charming Andalusian village with generous amounts of sun, sea and mountains, But also an Ideal setting for the lovers from the land of the setting sun to tie the nuptial Knot.
Santiago states in our local rag "We always will need more tourists, I cant overstate the importance of the Asian tourists, they are extremely curios and will add a lot of value to our Municipality."
It has even been suggested that excursions on the local donkey taxis could be included in the wedding packages.
All in all it looks likely that the Asian invasion will continue!