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Marbella nominated for European Best Destination award: Don't forget to vote
Monday, October 18, 2021 @ 9:59 AM

COSTA del Sol 'glamour capital' Marbella is one of the nominees for next year's 'European Best Destination' – an award which is prestigious enough in itself but, in addition, includes multi-national advertising worth a small fortune.

If it gets the most votes, a promotional campaign including extensive coverage in top global media will be launched for Marbella free of charge.

Advertising outlets for features, photos and other PR will include Forbes magazine, Yahoo, Geo, and the glossies published by Condé Nast round the world – one of which is the legendary women's fashion-and-feature monthly, Marie-Claire.

In total, the publicity the winning destination will attract as part of the prize that comes with being 'number one' is estimated to be worth around €10 million.

Even a beautiful, sunny, coastal favourite soaked in history, stunning architecture, top-of-the-range boutiques, yacht marinas, beaches, trendy bars and great restaurants such as Marbella – which one tends to think needs advertising about as much as chocolate, Coca-Cola and McDonald's would – will always benefit from international, high-profile reminders to the general public that it is still here and waiting for you to come and enjoy it.

And as well as its undeniable popularity for catching the rays on the coast, a massive, far-reaching promotional campaign is also a chance to raise the profile of Marbella's 'other bits' – the picturesque historic quarter with its bright white terraced cottages, winding lanes, balconies overflowing with multi-coloured flowers, gold-coloured roofs, pockets of greenery, splendid views, excellent connections to dramatic countryside and to other landmark sites in the province of Málaga – the parts which make it more than simply a summer beach hang-out and encourage visitors year-round, keeping the tourism industry permanently alive.

But it has to win first, and as usual, the nomination list is extensive and features high-quality and hugely attractive parts of the continent, some of them household names, and others yet to be discovered.

Just getting a nomination is a huge status symbol, though, as it secures a place in the top 20 even before the final vote count and means an extensive mention on an oft-consulted travel site – one viewed by an average of six million potential holidaymakers every year.

Last year's winner was Braga, described as 'the Rome of northern Portugal', followed by Rome itself, and then Cavtat, said to be 'the Tuscany of Croatia', in a list peppered with established favourites such as Paris, Florence, the Greek Island of Kefalonia, Turkey's awe-inspiring natural rock formations at Kapadokya (Cappadocia), and France's Dordogne Valley.

Spain gained two entries in the top 20 – the Canary Islands as a whole at number 10, and Calpe (Alicante province) at number 17.

The Canaries were lauded for the region's exceptionally mild weather, with winters that almost never drop below 13ºC or 14ºC even in the early hours, and their unique, fascinating sub-tropical landscape.

Calpe, about an hour by road north of Alicante city and 20 minutes or so north of Benidorm, was highlighted as an established beach-break destination but with a touch of the traditional – the fresh fish market and its open-air restaurants, the result of an ages-old industry still very much alive, its 'architectural treasures' including 'magnificent churches and monuments', its Muralla Roja or 'Red City Wall' of historic lanes and pink-and-blue houses, and of course, the 300-metre-high rock out to sea.



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