- The Canary Islands club took part in the World Travel Market (WTM), one of the tourism industry’s major events, with the aim of positioning itself in the British market and attracting visitors to Gran Canaria.
- UD Las Palmas were present at the Gran Canaria Tourism stand, establishing contacts for the creation of tourist packages that can be offered to tour operators and agencies specialising in tourism and the club.
The UD Las Palmas brand is being presented to the world, as the Canary Islands club keep following their plan for international expansion, continuing to link sporting growth with business growth.
As part of the club’s aim to amplify the brand internationally, representatives of UD Las Palmas recently travelled to London to be present at the World Travel Market (WTM), one of the tourism industry’s major events, doing so at the stand for Gran Canaria Tourism.
Patricio Viñayo, the general director of UD Las Palmas, said: “Our first experience at WTM was very positive. It allowed us to gauge the interest of tour operators in putting together experience packages including our matches, especially if we make it to LaLiga Santander. We also saw that there was interest in using our sporting complex, as there are many who’d like to make the most of the good weather of Gran Canaria.”
During the WTM event, the club held several meetings to study and establish contacts for the creation of tourist packages that can be offered to tour operators and agencies that specialise in experiences such as transfers to the stadium, match tickets, official merchandise, guided tours, VIP experiences in reserved areas and more.
The British market is of great interest to Los Amarillos. Viñayo commented: “The English brought football to Gran Canaria, as well as a significant number of linguistic expressions and influence in the urban planning of the capital, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, as both shores were the origin and destination of a commercial relationship. By having direct contact with tour operators and by searching for our islands’ links with England, we can revitalise and highlight this relationship.”
In this market, those at the club hope to “look for the common past to bring it up to date”. In this vein, a watch party for the club’s derby against CD Tenerife was held on November 26th in a pub in London’s Canary Wharf, with the club connecting with Londoners in the area where fruit and vegetables from the Canary Islands used to be unloaded.
The football school is an asset
One of the main differentiating attributes of UD Las Palmas is the fact that the club has a good reputation for developing footballers, which helps promote the club’s name. As Viñayo explained, UD Las Palmas was founded in 1949 through the coming together of the five best teams on the island, who gave up their best players to create one single team, to avoid the flight of talent to the mainland. He added: “Today, that origin story continues to influence the sporting project, and we look to have a significant number of academy players in our own first team. Former academy players Pedri and Yeremi Pino have gone to the World Cup in Qatar, and they’re just the latest examples.”
The general director concluded: “The way we understand and treat our youth system, together with the worldwide prestige of Spanish football, are factors that are valued internationally. Despite being an Atlantic island of only 800,000 inhabitants, in an archipelago of just over 1.5 million inhabitants, we have a tradition of producing various stars. In this sense, Gran Canaria is a very fertile island and UD Las Palmas represents a very unique expression of a special way of understanding football, a style that comes from the beach and from the street.