While we might not currently be able to travel to Spain, Travel Extra Editor-in-Chief Kevin Flanagan has been celebrating Spanish tradition in Dublin and catching up with Ruben López-Pulido, Director Tourism Office of Spain in Dublin
Last Wednesday, Valencia celebrated World Paella Day with activities around the globe. World Paella Day is a recognition of the most universal plate of Spanish gastronomy and one of the most popular dishes on the planet. The farmers of the rice fields in Albufera Natural Park in Valencia invented Paella, whose main ingredient is rice. They added other products they had around, such as rabbit, beans, chicken, and tomatoes.
And Dublin did not miss out on World Paella Day this year. The Spanish Tourism Office delivered Paellas to several lucky journalists to give them a chance to taste this amazing dish in their own homes (to honour the current social distance regulations).
My family feasted on paellas and tapas delivered by Yellow Rice Restaurant, a newly open paella and tapas restaurant in Dublin. They delivered some amazing tapas and two sensational paella flat steel pans. One contained a steaming Valenciana (chicken) paella just out of the oven, while the other a Marisco (seafood) paella. Both our paellas were tasty, but we gave the seafood dish the thumbs-up. The mussels, prawns and exceptionally moist rice and herbs gave rise to a variety of sensational tastes. Superb.
What a way to celebrate World Paella Day despite the lockdown. Well done to the Spanish Tourism Office in Dublin!
I also recently caught up with Ruben López-Pulido, Director Tourism Office of Spain in Dublin, Embassy of Spain in Ireland, to see how the Spanish Tourism Office has been coping during the pandemic.
“It has been really tough for us and for the trade as a whole,” says Ruben. “We have been in permanent contact with all the agents, concerned about both their health and their businesses. We put in place a ‘Spanish Covid Tracker’, conveying all relevant information about Irish people’s safety in the beginning and later on about all the measures Spain was putting in place to continue being Ireland’s first holiday destination.”
Spanish Tourism Office has been keeping busy with online events, such as World Paella Day. They are also spending more time gathering market research, in order to find out the changing preferences and travel patterns of Irish holidaymakers as soon as they are ready to travel to Spain again.
Ruben says they look forward to welcoming back Irish visitors, “Irish people are so close to us, because they feel like locals in Spain. We are working so hard to enhance the fundamental pillars that identify us as the first Irish destination; diversifying our offer to adapt to the needs of the different tourist Irish profiles.”
I, for one, can’t wait to get over to Spain again, and to Valencia in particular, and taste Paella in its wonderful city of origin.
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