Alicante is a city with innate characteristics to be a great investment hub capable of attracting a large number of digital nomads. To do this, it must be able to transmit them both to our national neighbors and crossing international barriers. In summary, after analyzing the image projected by Alicante to the outside, it is recommended:
Tackle the main negative points of the city’s image, such as its still excessive dependence on the tourist sector, the lack of urban cleanliness and in terms of transportation.
Continue betting on the conversion of its economic system through innovation and technology, being able to continue strengthening the image of Alicante as a destination to live and as an ideal working environment for digital nomads.
Make efforts to establish strategies to transmit the image of Alicante to Spanish regions and countries where we are still not able to raise a great interest.
In the fifth bimonthly report, an analysis is made of the projection that the city/region of Alicante makes to the national and international exterior, i.e., what image it is exporting of itself. This is a key element for competition, since it brings together all the differentiating elements of the city, facilitating the enhancement and promotion of the main strengths of its competitive model as a region. Undoubtedly, Alicante’s image is eminently touristic, but it would be unfair to summarize it only in this aspect. Alicante demonstrates, based on different indicators analyzed throughout the rest of the notes and reports presented and opinion indicators of this report, to have an important working environment, unique living conditions to live and all the key elements to attract foreign investment and digital nomads to our city. However, when it comes to promoting the Alicante brand, it is almost exclusively associated with tourism, and all these virtues are somewhat faded when it comes to reflecting its full reality abroad.
This report takes two perspectives: an analysis of Alicante’s image at national and international level. For this purpose, different criteria of opinion, interest in web searches, tourism indicators and reports made by the Alicante City Council itself or different entities that are concerned with establishing the Alicante brand are taken into account.
What is the opinion about Alicante
The brand that transmits a city is a key element to externalize the competitiveness of the city, as it is a mechanism to project its main strengths. To see what image Alicante is able to offer to our national neighbors and foreign visitors, it is key to know their opinion about their visits and what points of interest they have about the city when they are looking for information to travel to our lands.
Knowing the opinion that people have about our lands is essential to detect our greatest strengths, but also to distinguish our weaknesses and to be able to work on public-private policies that help to change our ‘reality’ to project a much more complete and competitive image. In this case, the opinion about the city and the region of Alicante is very positive, especially if we consider the reviews of foreign nomads: they enjoy short vacation periods; they value the work environment and the digital efforts being made by the city; and they consider it a key destination for long-term living and retirement.
In short, the following are the main characteristics of Alicante’s image as perceived by its own inhabitants, by Spanish tourists and by foreign nomads:
Valued by its own inhabitants, it is the ninth city with the highest quality of life in all of Spain, maintaining a position of medium-high overall quality of life. However, it still shows a big mole and complaint by Alicante’s own people: the performance in the cleanliness of the city is negative.
The main searches in web engines with the city brand are related to: Tourism (30%); Commerce (20%); Business (10%); or Leisure (9%).
Of these searches, the following stand out: restaurants, local transport, information on flights and areas of interest, large shopping centers, real estate and various professional activities (scrapyards, lawyers, locksmiths, pharmacies, psychologists, dentists, etc.).
Trends associated with Alicante: the Bonfires; festival and concert entertainment; restaurants; and beaches.
It maintains an intermediate-high position as one of the best cities to live in in the opinion of expats and nomads of the main websites for travelers.
These highlight: its working environment; attractiveness for digital workers; environment to create a business; conditions to establish a family; city with high health care and services; ideal place for long stays; price of housing, Airbnb and hotels; as well as its nightlife, etc.
WHERE PEOPLE COME FROM AND COME TO ALICANTE
It is not only the opinion given that counts or has relevance, but also where it comes from. The tourism sector is one of the key insignia of the city and its economy, besides being a multidisciplinary sector that ends up intertwining different subsectors and economic flows. Catering, transport, accommodation, leisure and commerce are interrelated economic activities and are among the main sectors attracting foreign exchange, movement of people and investment.
Therefore, it is vital to know who are our main tourists, being able to establish roadmaps to strengthen the interest of the regions and nationalities most interested in our lands, or on the contrary to develop strategies and make our brand more powerful in these regions.
Below is the main information about the tourist who comes to our city, the online reputation of the Alicante brand and the main focuses where Alicante raises interest:
Alicante is the third province with the highest number of Spanish resident travelers received from the cumulative 2023 (1.5 million compared to almost 4 and 2 million for Madrid and Barcelona, respectively).
At the national level, the main regions with the greatest interest in Alicante are: the Valencian Community itself; Murcia; Castilla – La Mancha; Madrid; the Balearic Islands; Castilla y León; and Aragón.
As a tourism brand, Alicante is the second with the greatest impact on social networks: second in number of followers on Facebook; second on Twitter; third on Instagram; second in Youtube plays. In addition, 9 of the top 17 tourism brands in the Valencian Community belong to the province of Alicante.
Internationally, our biggest visitors are: the Nordic countries; Belgium, Netherlands, United Kingdom, France or Germany. There is also interest from North Africa (Morocco and Algeria), Asia-Pacific (South Korea, Australia) and Latin America (Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico).
Sixty percent of the total number of international tourists arriving in the Valencian Community have Alicante as their destination. Elche-Alicante airport receives more than twice as many foreign visitors as Valencia airport.
This is also reflected in the number of overnight stays in Alicante, where, with almost 30 million, it almost triples that of Valencia, and far exceeds Castellón.
COMMUNICATION CHANNELS AND PROMOTION OF THE CITY
It is so important to know who we attract, where they come from, but also how we transmit the image of the city to convey our reality and attract investors and foreign talent. Both the city and the province of Alicante focus their efforts on transmitting a predominantly tourist image, but it does not stop there and it does not do it in a traditional way. Alicante is making an effort to reconvert its economic model and the image it exports to the world, so it is very important to see which are the ways in which it does it and what kind of campaign it carries out.
As mentioned in the September newsletter, it is a pity that this year, at this time, we still do not have the data on advertising campaigns and promotional channels of Alicante. However, we will remember what they were since in the historical data of the Diputación de Alicante, the trend for the preference of this type of routes has remained more or less constant since it is recorded: online promotion predominates; followed by radio; television; traditional print media; and different creativities.
Among the main advertising actions and promotions that the city/province of Alicante has carried out, the following stand out:
Alicante City Council campaigns aimed at promoting the tourist image of the city (various tourist campaigns, promotion of the Santa Faz, Easter, focused on the city’s Tourist Excellence, etc.).
Alicante City Council campaigns with the aim of promoting culture and sports (various talks, forums and promotions with personalities from these fields).
Alicante City Council campaigns focused on the promotion of commerce, current affairs and development of the city.
Strategies to boost tourism promotion of the city in specialized markets to deseasonalize tourism in the city through multi-products.
Integration in the largest trade association of the cruise industry.
Gastronomic promotion through the Alicante Gastronómica international fair, participation in culinary and cultural fairs, etc.
Great impulse to the festival, music and concert offer in the province with the impulse of FITUR.
DOES THIS OPINION MATCH THE REALITY OF ALICANTE?
The opinion of tourists and the image we project abroad seems to be clear: we are a very attractive region to live in, with a high quality of life and unparalleled socio-cultural and climatological conditions. However, it is necessary to put these opinions in perspective with the available data on these issues, in order to analyze whether the communication policies and efforts made by the city/province of Alicante are being effective or, on the contrary, exporting a distorted image of socio-economic reality and culture.
To this end, we turned to the main databases at national and European level, where we have information available in terms of safety in the city, variables related to poverty and social exclusion, to the environment and energy of the regions, its level of digital development, the state of its labor market and productive environment, etc. Many of these variables have been addressed throughout the different briefing notes, but it is necessary to make this comparison in order to adjust, cancel or reactivate the different proposals and promotional activities of the city when exporting its image.
Based on the information from these databases and statistics not covered in previous reports or briefing notes, we could conclude that the feedback we receive from tourists, expats and digital nomads is in line with the reality of the region:
Alicante is in an intermediate-low position in the lists of most robberies, attempted robberies, residential robberies and any type of crime-related variable, measured per 1,000 inhabitants for provinces at 2021 data, latest available. Thus highlighting its high level of citizen and urban security.
It is one of the cities/regions with the lowest extra energy expenditure to cope with excessively hot and excessively cold days, based on Eurostat’s climate-based heating and cooling days indexes. This reaffirms the enviable climatic living conditions of our city which favors the arrival of tourists and nomads during practically all times of the year.
We cannot count on data at provincial/city level for statistics related to the use of internet in domestic skills, Public Administrations or similar, but the Valencian Community is at the top in all these types of indicators (people with internet access at home and work; services that have been digitalized; people who use digital channels to carry out bureaucracy with Public Administrations and authorities; regions with less number of inhabitants who have never used a computer; houses with broadband access;…) so it is obvious that the Valencian Community is at the top in all these types of indicators (people with internet access at home and work; services that have been digitalized; people who use digital channels to carry out bureaucracy with Public Administrations and authorities; regions with less number of inhabitants who have never used a computer; houses with access to broadband; . …) so it is obvious that Alicante, a city and province that is betting entirely on its economic conversion based on digital and technological innovation, is one of the main strongholds of the Autonomous Region to obtain these results. This is reflected in the opinion of digital nomads on how suitable the city is to undertake and establish digital businesses in it.
On a negative note, although Alicante’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) (113.988) is slightly higher than the national average (113.348) (but below the country’s main cities), its annual rate of change is among the highest in September 2023 (latest available data), so it is an element to take into account if we want to keep our standard of living relatively cheap compared to cities such as Albacete (>114), Ávila (>115), Badajoz (>114), Cádiz (>114), Castellón (approx 115), Ciudad Real (approx 115), Cuenca (approx 115), Guadalajara (>115), Huelva (>114), Huesca (>114), León (approx 116), Lleida (>114), Lugo (>114), Malaga (>114), Murcia (>114), Ourense (>114), Pontevedra (>114), Segovia (>114), Soria (>114), Teruel (>114), Toledo (approx 116), Zamora (>115) and Melilla (>115).
In relation to the above, Alicante has a Housing Price Index (year 2021, latest available) for rent (112.182) below the national average (112.694), which makes it one of the relatively cheaper cities in relation to access to housing, offering better conditions than provinces such as Baleares (>115), Barcelona (>114), Castellón (>112,182), Guadalajara (>114), Madrid (>112,182), Málaga (approx 116), Santa Cruz de Tenerife (approx 114), Toledo (approx 115) or Valencia (>116).
For the year 2020, the latest data available, Alicante is the fourth province with the highest number of new companies (14,555), only surpassed by Valencia (16,600), Barcelona (38,753) and Madrid (45,152), as well as being the fourth region with companies created that have survived at least 3 years (8,245), again surpassed by these 3 provinces (10,249, 27,788 and 31,078, respectively). In addition, it is the sixth region with the highest number of high-growth companies measured in employment (a 10% growth in employees annually) with 575 companies, surpassing our leading competitor Malaga (499) and only surpassed by Murcia (594), Seville (617), Valencia (961), Barcelona (2,035) and Madrid (3,027). This confirms the good opinion of nomads and expats who decide to travel to our city for its good environment and working environment to establish their business or create their own activity from 0.
In terms of health, very important to understand also the quality of life we offer, Alicante is the seventh province with the highest number of registered doctors (about 9,111), surpassed by Malaga, Seville, Canary Islands, Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia for data from 2022. If we look at the number of pharmacists, it would be the fourth province, only behind Valencia, Barcelona and Madrid. This trend of being between the top 4 and 7 of the provinces with the highest number of health professionals is repeated for dentists, psychologists and any other branch of health professionals evidencing the good record in terms of quality and health care of our region.
Alicante shows a high performance in the profitability indicators of the hotel sector, evidencing its good image as a great tourist destination. For example, it has an Average Daily Rate (ADR) of 109.45 (for September 2023, latest available data), surpassed only by Madrid (130.30), Barcelona (144.75), Bizkaia (114.01), Guipúzcoa (161.88), Baleares (140.53), Málaga (137.24), Cádiz (123.72) and Seville (116.91). The same story is repeated with the revenue per available hotel room (RevPAR) with 86.61 euros per night, surpassed by these same provinces. This data is very positive, as it places us among the top quartile of tourist destinations that obtain more profitability from the tourism sector, but at the same time leaves us in an advantageous position as we can position ourselves as a very attractive destination but relatively cheaper than our competitors without losing that image of high quality.
The latter is endorsed by the average stay data that tourists spend in our region: we are the 3rd province with the longest average stay in days in the country (4.01 days), being surpassed by the regions of the Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands (between 5 and 7 days depending on the province).
You can download the note here: https://aliainvestinalicante.com/centro-de-recursos/