MALAGA, Spain, January 18, 2005 – One of Spain’s most intriguing regions is launching a campaign this month to encourage more Americans to visit. The birthplace of flamenco, tapas and sherry and home to the monumental cities of Seville, Cordoba and Granada, Andalusia is one of Spain’s most intriguing areas. Tourism officials from this region in southern Spain are hoping that “An Andalusian Affair” will spur even more Americans to visit.

The campaign by Turismo Andaluz, the region’s tourism board includes an innovative marketing and advertising campaign created by Green Team Advertising. Ads will run in the New York Times (print and online), New York Magazine and the New Yorker, on WQXR Radio and appear on bus shelters and phone kiosks. A new web site, www.andalusianaffair.com will be launched shortly. A sweepstakes, an online campaign on google and a promotion with Time Out New York are also in the works. Additionally, Turismo Andaluz has organized a co-op initiative with four tour operators: Central Holidays, Spanish Heritage, Sun Holidays and Trafalgar Tours as well as an outreach to the country’s leading “carriage trade” travel agents that belong to Virtuoso. A newsletter and direct mail campaign is being targeted to flamenco fans.

New Yorkers will have an opportunity to sample the region’s renowned cuisine during Andalusian Food Week, February 7-14, when chefs whip up regional specialties like gazpacho, ajo blanco and fritura mixta at twelve of the city’s restaurants.

The main event is the New York Flamenco Festival 2006 taking place January 28 to February 19. Sponsored by the region of Andalusia and presented by World Music Institute and Flamenco Festival Inc, more than 100 dancers, singers and guitarists will give performances ranging from flamenco puro to contemporary innovations at various New York venues. On February 3, one of the leading names in cante flamenco, Esperanza Fernández will sing at Skirball Center @NYU. Son de la Frontera will appear at Symphony Space (2/04) and Vicente Amigo will perform at Town Hall (2/11). On February 15 at City Center, “Gala Flamenca” will showcase Merche Esmeralda, Manolo Marín, Javier Barón, Soledad Barrio, Rafael Campallo and Adela Campallo in a benefit concert for World Music Institute. Also at City Center, the Nuevo Ballet Español will appear on February 16 and the celebrated Cristina Hoyos and Spain’s renowned repertory company, Ballet Flamenco de Andalucía will perform Viaje al Sur (Journey to the South) February 17 and 18. The Compañía Antonio El Pipa is slated for February 19. Other flamenco performances are scheduled for Boston, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Miami and six other cities in the U.S. and Canada.

“Last year Andalusia welcomed almost 19 million visitors,” said Ana Gomez, General Director of Tourism for the region. “We wanted to bring a taste of our culture and cuisine to show Americans what we have to offer. We think they will find Andalusia an intriguing vacation option,” she explained.

Andalusia has been called the “soul” of Spain. Its cities resonate with thousands of years of history. Seville boasts the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and the Mudéjar-style Alcázar. Cordoba has its exquisite Mezquita, once the world’s grandest mosque. Granada features the Generalife gardens and the magnificent palaces of the Alhambra. Ronda, a spectacularly-situated pueblo blanco, has the oldest bullring in Spain. Cadiz lays claim to the title of Europe’s oldest city and the Doñana National Park is one of the continent’s largest wetlands. The country’s renowned sherry cellars can be found in Jerez de la Frontera. The region has thousands of miles of beautiful coastline on the Costa del Sol, Costa de la Luz and the Costa de Almería, and the highest peaks on the Iberian Peninsula in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

For more information about the region of Andalusia contact: the Tourist Office of Spain at 212-265-8822 or www.spain.info or go to www.andalucia.org. And for further information about Flamenco Festival 2006, go to www.flamencofestival.org. For tickets go to www.worldmusicinstitute.org (212-545-7536) or www.nycitycenter.org (212-545-8822).