Cover Story: In Search of Rejuvenation
For instance, he is working with the European Travel Commission to partner with seven European countries’ tourism offices (including Portugal) to promote art, architecture and culture through a project dubbed “Art Europe.” (The commission’s site for tourists, visiteurope.com, also links directly to Portugal’s and Spain’s official tourism sites.)
Overcoming the Odds
The most recent statistics Piñanes has show that 2007 was a banner year. It represented the most spectacular increase Spain has seen in tourism from the U.S. since the terror attacks on American soil on Sept. 11, 2001 made potential travelers too jittery to climb on planes.
Then Spain had to recover after terrorists bombed trains in Madrid on March 11, 2004. But by the close of 2005, Piñanes says, nerves calmed and the U.S. economy was doing better, so tourism rates began climbing again.
So, despite the U.S. recession, Piñanes believes U.S. tourism to his country will continue its slow climb because of all of these marketing efforts and, especially, SEO.
That’s because those who inhabit the U.S. have never stopped exploring, ever since Ponce de León landed on America’s southern coast and pronounced it Florida (Spanish for “flowery”). In other words, for those who find vacations revitalizing, travel SEO may be helping them search for and find the secret to a long, happy life. Or at least a rejuvenating vacation.