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Spanish Tourist Office in UK Welcomes New Director and Deputy Director

Spanish Tourist Office in UK Welcomes New Director and Deputy Director

Turespaña in the UK has welcomed new director, Manuel Butler, and new deputy director, Pedro Medina, who takeover from Javier Piñanes and Carlos Ruiz, respectively. The new directorship began their term with Turespaña in the UK on 1 September 2021.

Manuel Butler Halter

Manuel Butler Halter

Manuel Butler Halter, who will be taking the reins as Director of Turespaña’s London offices, has participated in the highest levels of Spanish tourism promotion for over 25 years.

In fact, this is not Butler’s first role with the STO in London having served as Tourism Counsellor from 1999 to 2004.

His illustrious career also includes time as Counsellor for the Spanish Embassy in Berlin, Head of the STO in both Miami and Frankfurt, and working as the Director General in the central offices of Turespaña in Madrid.

Moreover, Butler re-joins Turespaña in London having completed a three-year stint as Executive Director of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), beginning in June 2018.

Pedro Medina Asensio

Pedro Medina Asensio

Joining Manuel Butler as Deputy Director of Turespaña in the UK is Pedro Medina Asensio. Medina has extensive legal and international experience.

He is a Spanish official, who after more than ten years of service in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation with a range of responsibilities, held the position of Deputy-Director General for International Relations and Cooperation in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism where he had experience in transposing numerous Community directives and in following up the Memorandum of Understanding signed by Spain in the field of tourism.

He served as Director of the International Treaties Division, acting as depositary of the UNWTO Headquarters Agreement in Madrid and as Chancellor of the Spanish Embassy in London meaning, like Butler, this is not Medina’s first position in London.

Strategy

Under their new leadership, Turespaña in London has set out its strategy to re-establish Spain as Britain’s favourite tourism destination after a year of limited international travel.

The first stages of the new strategy will see a focus on recovery before then working with key niche segments to help spread the geographical distribution of tourism while showcasing the wide breadth of tourism product. Turespaña UK will work with the UK travel trade and British media members to reach their target audience of “cosmopolitans” during the implementation of this new strategy.

Manuel Butler commented: “I am delighted to be back in this wonderful city representing Turespaña as the director of its UK operations, having served here from 1999 to 2004.

It is no secret that the British market is vital for Spanish tourism, and we are at a critical point in international tourism with holidays overseas once again becoming a reality.

We are determined to put Spain front of mind for Brits looking to holiday abroad. There is a lot of pent-up demand and appetite in the market, so it is important we capitalise on that.”

Medina added: “We are confident in our strategy to re-establish Spain as Britain’s favourite holiday destination having taken the reigns from the excellent job that both Javier Piñanes and Carlos Ruiz did during their time in London.

With both Manuel and I’s wealth of experience in Spanish tourism, we are eager to get started and hit the ground running.”

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Fionn Davenport is the editor-in-chief of the ITTN group, including ITTN and ITTN Ireland. He's one of Ireland's best-known travel journalists and writers, with nearly 30 years' experience writing guidebooks for Lonely Planet and others.

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