STAFF REPORTER
WARSAW, Poland

SECRETARY of State for Tourism, Joan Mesquida, was in Poland yesterday to promote a pilot scheme aimed at attracting Europe's over-55s to Spain during the low season.

At a hotel in Warsaw, Mesquida gave details of the ambitious programme which the Spanish government wants to drive home to retired people in 15 European Union countries.

From just 343 euros, he said, the over-55s can enjoy a package holiday which includes an air ticket and 7 nights full board at 4-star hotels in Andalucia or the Balearics (until now the only regions of Spain to participate in the scheme.)
Mesquida claimed that apart from opening up the travel market to people who might never even have left their country before, the concept of “Senior European Tourism” would encourage a sense of what he described as “EU citizenship.” The pilot scheme is reportedly being funded to the tune of 10 million euros, split between Central Government and the two regions who will most benefit from the low season package.

The offer was first launched in October this year. Since that time, combining the number of trips already made and pending reservations, participants amount to 20'000 visitors. Mesquida was confident that bookings were on the increase each day.

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