The Region of Madrid has extended to 11 the number of interesting towns covered in its programme“Villas de Madrid” (Towns of Madrid), aimed at promoting the resources of towns with less than 20,000 inhabitants, that are not so well-known but that offer sufficient heritage and tourist sites to captivate their visitors.
The new towns added to this tourism incentive promoted by the Directorate General of Tourism of the Region are: Manzanares El Real, Patones, San Martín de Valdeiglesias, Torrelaguna and Villarejo de Salvanés, whose selection has been made on the merit of a study carried out by a working group from the Complutense University of Madrid. These five municipalities join Buitrago del Lozoya, Chinchón, Colmenar de Oreja, Navalcarnero, Nuevo Baztán and Rascafría, which already form part of this programme.
The Villas de Madrid are a group of outstanding destinations, recognised for their rich cultural heritage, that have managed to preserve their rural authenticity, as well as having sufficient tourist infrastructure to achieve the service quality and satisfaction of its visitors. Among the criteria considered for joining this group is the fact of being a town with history, to have less than 20,000 inhabitants, to be located in a tourist area and to offer a cultural heritage, historical monuments or be declared and recognised Bien de Interés Cultural (BIC – An asset of cultural heritage), and to have specific information points, websites and social media. All the towns must also be located within a maximum 80 km radius of the city centre.
The main idea of the tourism strategy is to situate the Region of Madrid as a unique destination, where places are within driving distance, and that offers a large diversity of quality options. In this regard, the inclusion of new towns to the Villas de Madrid project increases the region’s tourism potential and helps further attract quality visitors. All this contributes to Madrid being the Spanish region with the highest growth in international tourism this year and leading the international ranking of income per visitor and per day of stay.