VALENCIA, Spain – Last year the region of Valencia on Spain’s Mediterranean coast welcomed more visitors, in part due to increased air and rail service. Delta Air Lines’ non-stop service from New York brought more Americans. And the high-speed AVE train, inaugurated in December 2010, cut travel time to only 95 minutes from Madrid to Valencia. Delta recently announced the airline would resume seasonal service to Valencia on June 2, offering four non-stop flights a week aboard 170-seat Boeing 757-200s from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York to Valencia Airport in Manises (VLC).
For the first ten months of 2011, the region of Valencia welcomed 4,889,715 visitors, a 7.3 percent increase over 2010. That represents 9.6 percent of total arrivals to Spain. During that same period,39,072 Americans visited Valencia, a 67.1 percent increase over the previous year.
“Delta had very strong load factors to Valencia last year, and we are delighted to be operating service to the Valencia region again this summer. It is a popular destination not only given the strong business links between the two countries, but also given that many Americans favor Spain as a place to vacation,” said Rafael Ruiz,” Delta’s Commercial Director Europe, Middle East and Africa.
A sparkling city on Spain’s Mediterranean coast, Valencia offers visitors beautiful Gothic and Renaissance buildings, stunning modern architecture, fabulous food (this is the birthplace of paella and Valencian oranges), great shopping and year round sunny weather. Complimenting the architectural gems in the old quarter are the stunning contemporary structures along the Turia riverbed by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela – a science museum, planetarium, aquarium and performing arts center – that make up the City of Arts and Sciences.
“The service offered by Delta is important because it brings more American visitors to our region, and it supports the local businesses involved in the tourism sector,” said Lola Johnson Sastre, the Minister for Tourism Culture and Sport for the Valencian region. “Valencia has all the attributes American travelers look for when they go to Europe: fascinating culture, centuries of history,interesting museums, ancient sites and notable historic attractions. And since Spain’s cuisine has great appeal for Americans, they should know that the Valencia region is home to 13 Michelin star restaurants as well as being the birthplace of paella,” Minister Sastre, added.
The city is also home to Bioparc Valencia, Europe’s most advanced zoo: Lladró, famed for its porcelain figurines, and one of Europe’s largest food markets, the Art Nouveau Mercado Central. The waterfront was completely restored for the staging of the America’s Cup in 2007 which took place for the second time in 2010. The region has miles of sandy beaches bordering the Mediterranean and lovely unspoiled countryside. Together with Valencia, the provinces of Alicante and Castellón constitute the region of Valencia.