AITO – The Specialist Travel Association
Córdoba – Spain’s best-kept secret – set to host AITO and AITO Agents’ joint overseas conference 2015
AITO operators and AITO Specialist Travel Agents are delighted to announce Córdoba, Spain, as the setting for their 2015 joint overseas conference – the first time AITO has staged a conference in the city.
This year will also mark the return of a combined conference format involving all members of the AITO family: AITO tour operators, agents and affiliates. AITO has had two combined conferences before, in Vilnius, Lithuania (2011) and Madeira, Portugal (2012).
Sponsored by the Córdoba Tourist Board, Andalucía Tourist Board and the Spanish Tourist Board, the joint conference will take place from 11-14 June, 2015, and will see the two organisations come together to engender even greater links between AITO and AITO Agents.
Chairman of AITO, Derek Moore, says: “This will be the first joint conference for three years, with the last one being in Madeira, Portugal, in 2012. At the end of last year, we quizzed all AITO members as to whether they would prefer a combined tour operator and travel agent overseas conference, and the majority replied ‘yes’.
“Córdoba is an unspoilt gem of a city, often overlooked, with an historic past steeped in the lore of Arabia, but just a couple of hours’ flying time from the UK.
“We wanted somewhere exotically redolent of a distant culture and somewhere that is not an obvious destination; somewhere with a lot to offer but not as well-known as its near neighbours. We think we have found all these qualities in Córdoba.
“It is Spain’s best-kept secret and we are really looking forward to exploring the city further.”
Chairman of AITO Agents, Gemma Antrobus, says: “I am extremely excited that we shall be travelling to Córdoba for the AITO and AITO Agents’ joint conference this summer.
“Most of the conference will be situated within the old town, which will not only add an element of extra interest, but will also aid all delegates in terms of networking during the conference.
“I am certain that our agents and operators believe they know Spain and what it has to offer well, but Córdoba has such a wealth of largely undiscovered architecture and history. It really is a ‘must visit’ destination and one that every AITO agent ought to know in greater depth, so they can include it within their range of suggested short break holidays to their clients.”
Marketing Director of the Andalucía Tourist Board, Antonio Martin-Machuca, says: “We are very happy to host the AITO joint conference once again in Andalucía. Last time we hosted the conference was back in 2006 in the city of Granada, which was a great success.
“AITO’s return to visit magnificent Córdoba, where all delegates will find a stunning and historical city – nominated ‘Heritage of Humanity’ – as well as a very friendly destination with stunning architecture and impressive infrastructure, is much anticipated by us all.
“The three institutions involved – the Spanish Tourist Board in London, Córdoba Tourist Board and Andalucía Tourist Board – will pull together an impressive programme and we are convinced that it will be the best AITO conference yet.”
The conference will see an engaging mix of big-name speakers from both inside and outside the travel industry and will offer delegates excellent networking and educational opportunities.
There will be joint and separate business sessions to cater for the issues relevant to each audience, which will include topics on the retail travel trade environment, business management and the entrepreneurial arena. Networking events will also be combined to afford a better exchange of ideas and views from across the travel industry spectrum.
Business sessions will be held in the newly-extended and refurbished Palacio de Congresos de Cordoba, situated in the heart of the old town.
Accommodation will be provided by three establishments: Hotel Eurostars Palace, NH Collection Amistad and Hotel Las Casas de la Juderia.
The City of Córdoba
Córdoba is a city in Andalusia, southern Spain, which first came to prominence after the Romans conquered it in 206BC. It was at its height in the 10th century, when it was the capital of an Islamic caliphate. It has also been estimated that, in the 10th century, Córdoba was the most populous city in the world; it was the centre of Arabic education with its library and universities.
The old town – where most of the conference is situated – houses the enormous Great Mosque of Córdoba. It was said to be one of the largest in all of Islam, and yet it was only one of some 3,000 mosques in the city, along with a library said to be the largest in the world at that time.
Outside the walls is a beautiful Roman bridge, whilst inside the walls is the old town – a UNESCO World Heritage site. With its narrow cobbled streets and alleyways, the old town is perfect for anyone who likes to explore on foot and eat well in its many restaurants whilst, in turn, relishing its architectural wonders.
The old town has a maze of cobbled streets with alleys leading to beautiful patios, which will be adorned with flowers and exotic plants at the time of the conference.
For more information about Córdoba and Andalucía, go to english.turismodecordoba.org/que-visitar.cfm and www.andalucia.org/en/.
To watch Derek Moore talk about Córdoba as the destination for the joint overseas conference, click here.
Ends – 26 February 2015
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