Visiting Spain, research tourism websites first

Regular readers to this site will know I have in the past dabbled in web design, SEO, and of course travel. By a happy coincidence this has made me an expert in tourism websites for Spain. Finding a good tourism website is often difficult, especially here in Spain where many Spaniards aren’t familiar with writing in English.

As a native English speaker I appreciate well written guides that tell me what to expect when I arrive at my destination, for example if I’m going to Barcelona, I know about the Ramblas and Gaudi’s incomplete cathedral, but what else is there to do within the same area that is going to capture my imagination.

History and culture are important to me, I’m not satisfied with a brief two minute explanation of the facts, I research places I visit before I get there, so Spain tourism websites need to give me a fully researched article that gets me excited about seeing the city or it’s monuments in person.

Once I reach my holiday destination I’m happy to see brief descriptions on plaques, perhaps even on the free maps handed out by tourism offices, at least by then I already know what I’m looking at. Sevilla is a case in point; the Torre del Oro has always fascinated me, more so than the Alcazar or Giralda tower. Consequently I’d read all about it, and I knew why it is now white, and not gold as it was in Moorish times.

Sadly most tourism websites for Spain don’t seem to provide this depth of information, and it is rare to find a webmaster who even cares, mostly they just seem to want to encourage their site visitors to book car hire or a hotel reservation.

Even more annoying, many of the official tourism websites are put together as a last minute thought, mostly tacked onto the town hall website, so the quality of information is abysmal. Often a really good source of detailed tourist info can be found at a local hotel or country finca, at least the owners of these have a vested interest in attracting your business.

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