Under a waxing moon with a lovely breeze swaying the palm branches, the Miami skyline shone picture perfect as the backdrop for the second year of Next Destination, Málaga: Gateway to Andalusia, where members of the cruise and shipping industry from Málaga got together with their Miami counterparts along with tour operators, travel agents and other professionals.
The air was perfumed with amontillado wine, tapas and paella; flamenco music played in the background welcoming guests to the Island Gardens on Watson Island for a night of Spanish-style business : with joie de vivre. The Consulate General of Spain in Miami, Don Cándido Creis Estrada, and his charming wife, Carla, presided over the event with typical relaxed style. Despite its laid back demeanor, Málaga is positioning itself to increase its traffic from the North America cruise traveler who in 2015 made up 48% of the total 23 million passengers in that category.
The area emphasized the many alluring possibilities available to visitors arriving to the port of Málaga that may be easily scheduled as excursions for cruise ship travelers: from the enchantment of the city itself with its many cultural and culinary offerings, to attractions such as the astonishing White Towns, the vibrancy of the Costa del Sol, as well as other cities in that area with the same lovely, easygoing Andalusian poise.
Chapeau to the organizers of Next Destination, Malaga: Gateway to Andalusia: the Málaga Port Authority, the City of Málaga Tourism and Marketing Department, the Costa del Sol Tourism and Planning Department, the Tourism Department, the Andalusia Advisory Tourism and Sport Board, and Málaga Cruises. In Miami, the effort was supported by the Consulate General of Spain, the Board of Andalusia Foreign Promotion Agency, the Spanish Tourism Office (OET), and the Business Office of the Spanish Embassy. Also several businesses contributed to the success of the evening: Málaga Virgen, Mahou-San Miguel, COVAP, Inés Rosales, Cardenal Mendoza, La Gitana, Hidalgo Imports, Montecristo y La Española.