El Campello in Alicante, where there is a pet-friendly beach.

23-08-2013Manuel Lorenzo, EFE

A current trend in European tourism is that of pet-friendly tourism, by which is normally meant dogs. As there are many people who don't like leaving their pets in order to go on holiday, more and more destinations are coming round to the idea of offering special packages that include pets. Every aspect of a trip - hotel, plane, activities, excursions - is designed with the pet in mind.

Colonia Sant Pere, the only real resort in Arta (and not a big one at that), is to become a pet-friendly destination this October. The town hall has decided to take up this idea in order to lengthen the tourism season and to give a boost to a resort which has been overlooked for rather too long.

Arta is, therefore, working with the company Harmony Travel-G4D, which specialises in seeking out destinations for pet travel. The mayor, Bartomeu Gili, says that Arta has, for some years, been a municipality which has sought to promote this type of tourism. Until now, though, there hasn't been any concrete proposal or action.

The idea is that Colonia should be sold as a pet-friendly destination in the lower months of the tourism season. "This October will act as a pilot scheme to see how it works," notes the mayor.

It is expected that there will be a week of multiple activities, while the company is working on chartering a plane from Sweden which would be able to bring some one hundred people. It would also take care of arrangements with a hotel in Colonia.

The mayor observes that the type of tourist who would be attracted is typically someone with high purchasing power, middle-aged, looking for places to relax and to engage in activities with their pets. He adds that in winter the beaches of Arta are open to dogs. "There could also be various excursions, as we are a base for nature trails, or even contests," the mayor concludes.

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