On 7 October, the Chamber organised, in collaboration with the Spanish Tourist Office in Belgium, the Day of Spain (Dag van Spanje) in the central Groenplaats in Antwerp. Through this day, which took place in Antwerp for the second time under a shining sun, Spain was presented as a tourist destination, highlighting the gastronomic and leisure offer of the country.
The regions of Andalusia, Aragon, Benidorm, the Canary Islands, Extremadura, Valencia, Galicia, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Murcia were present during the day to promote tourism in Spain. Representatives of the nine destinations presented their cultural and tourist offerings to the Belgian public, providing detailed information on the different travel options. The participants were also able to discover the real estate offer of the companies Inmo Cobat and Masa International, which provided information on the possibilities of purchasing properties on the Mediterranean coast, as well as the educational offer of EF, which facilitates the learning of Spanish through exchange trips to Spain, and the hotel and tourist offer of Charming Hotel and Imagine Travel.
In the gastronomic area, the jamón cutters from Joka, the From de Roots wine import shop, the Las Mañas restaurant and Churros Valyser took part. Visitors were able to taste and feel the Spanish gastronomy thanks to a varied offer of traditional dishes such as paella, patatas bravas, tapas of freshly cut jamón and cecina, padrón peppers or churros, among others.
The Day of Spain also reserved a space for the little ones. The Flemish Santiago de Compostela Association was in charge of energising the children’s part of the event, which included a game of the Camino de Santiago with prizes for those who completed a Pilgrim’s Credential by visiting the stands of the Day of Spain and answering questions about Spanish culture. In addition, there was an area with colouring sheets and a face painter.
Meanwhile, the Fundación Carlos de Amberes successfully organised a guided tour of the church of St. Charles Borromeo in Antwerp, which was attended by around twenty people.
The whole day was enlivened by a cultural programme that mixed musical performances with street shows.
The flamenco dancers of the Peña Al Ándalus were in charge of opening the musical part of the event, with a multitudinous show that fused traditional flamenco with modern melodies. Later, it was the rumbas of Gipsy Deal that animated the Groenplaats during midday, in front of an enthusiastic audience that chanted classics such as Volare by the Gipsy Kings. In the afternoon, it was the turn of Table for Three, who took to the stage to offer a tasting of pop jazz versions of contemporary Spanish music. DJ RDXN put the icing on the cake with a set of urban music that had the square dancing.
In parallel to the musical programme, the artists Doble Mandoble offered two performances of La Belle Escabelle, halfway between comedy and circus acrobatics. Finally, graffiti artist Thyl Seeger spent several hours painting a live mural inspired by Picasso’s Guernica.
The day welcomed more than 16,000 visitors throughout the day, allowing them to enjoy Spanish culture in a festive atmosphere and inviting them to visit the country. The Chamber and the Spanish Tourist Office in Belgium would like to express their sincere thanks to all those involved in the event, including Karel de Grote Hogeschool, who helped in the logistical organisation of the event.