“Visitors to Bizkaia discover a unique place in the world”

Cristina Mugica, Director of Tourism of the Provincial Council of Bizkaia.
Cristina Mugica, Director of Tourism of the Provincial Council of Bizkaia.

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The Director General for Tourism of the Provincial Council of Bizkaia, Cristina Mugica, presents to BasqueMagazine the main attractions of Bizkaia for those who visit us this spring and the principles that guide the proposal "The Tourism Strategy of Bilbao Bizkaia 2030".

For those who don't know us yet, how would you briefly introduce Bizkaia?

Bizkaia is a very special territory. We share a unique culture, our own identity and language, the Basque language, an incomparable natural beauty, an internationally renowned gastronomy... We are a territory full of contrasts: coast and mountains, city and nature, cultural avant-garde and ancestral traditions... All within easy reach and without having to make long journeys. We are a destination that leaves no visitor indifferent.

This year being the 25th anniversary of the Guggenheim Museum, I think it is only fair to recognise the iconic role of this museum in the transformation of the city and the positioning of Bilbao Bizkaia as a benchmark destination in the European South Atlantic, with a vibrant capital, an unusual coastline and nature that allows visitors to disconnect for a few days.

CRISTINA-MUGICA

For those who have just arrived in Bizkaia this spring, what would you recommend to do or visit?

There is an infinite number of plans to enjoy our territory in spring. You can find some of them in our reservation centre reservabilbaobizkaia.eus or by visiting our tourism portal: www.visitbiscay.eus, but I'm going to go ahead and suggest a possible plan for someone who is visiting and plans to stay with us for 4/5 days:

  • Indispensable: a visit to the coast, our cliffs, beaches and lighthouses, as well as charming fishing ports where you can enjoy spectacular grilled fish.
  • A day in any of the three natural parks of Bizkaia (Gorbeia, Urkiola, Armañón) to enjoy the mountains, hiking and connecting with nature, while you stay in an agritourism or rural house and let yourself be seduced by authentic gastronomy and cultures.
  • A day touring the metropolitan area, where you can admire our present, past and future through the estuary, and of course, visiting our Unesco heritage such as the Bizkaia Bridge, and touring the Abra, that golden triangle formed by Getxo, Santurtzi and Portugalete.
  • And of course, touring Bilbao, a city where culture, art, music,... are on every corner. Because Bilbao, at Easter, is the capital of the Basque universe that you cannot miss.
San Mamés iluminado.

"We are a territory full of contrasts: coast and mountains, city and nature, cultural avant-garde and ancestral traditions.... All within easy reach and without having to travel far".

You have just presented the document 'Bilbao Bizkaia Tourism Strategy 2030'. Can you tell us about its main lines of action?

Our new strategy is a document that includes 19 lines of action and the projects to be developed in them in two different scenarios, one of recovery - which corresponds to the period 2022-2024 - and another of transformation, which runs until 2030. But just as important as these lines of action are the principles that guide it. This strategy puts people at the centre, those who visit us and also all those who make up the tourism value chain and society as a whole. And it will help us to grow our sector based on the principles of social, environmental and economic sustainability. It is a document that will help to reinforce the governance and tourism intelligence model of the destination and with which we will reinforce our image, the image of Bilbao Bizkaia.

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