The Bou Ferrer wreck, for its part, has offered the pioneering experience of guided visits for divers for five consecutive years. In fact, this groundbreaking offer has been the focal point this year at FITUR (International Tourist Fair in Spain).
The Director of Vilamuseu, Antonio Espinosa said “This enjoyment offer of our sub aquatic archaeological heritage, which is unique in the world, strengthens our commitment. And from the time it was offered regularly, it has taken place during scientific works, it is guided by archaeologists and gives access to one of the most important wrecks currently undergoing excavation”.
Furthermore, within the teaching visits, such as those aimed at school children and the Vilakids workshops, 2,898 people have partaken. This figure is 12% of the total visits to Vilamuseu and demonstrates the specific importance, amongst the public in general, as to how much they are enjoying the new resources.
However, visits are not the only measure in making a positive assessment of the functioning of the cultural attractions of La Vila; the media responses to the organised initiatives of the Council for Historic Heritage and Culture and from the museums themselves have been positive and satisfying.
On the other hand, the re-launch of Vilamuseu activity after several years of building construction and the temporary cessation of exhibitions has generated enough positive information to allow the creation of 50 press releases from this municipal area.
In addition, last June, UNESCO included the Bou Ferrer wreck in the first seven archaeological sites and this lead to its registration in Buenas Prácticas en el Patrimonio Subaquático; this had a big impact in local, district, provincial and national media. Consequently, it has resulted in publications in important specialist magazines such as National Geographic (December 2017) and the Diver Magazine (September 2017).
As for social media, the numbers are spectacular! The Vilamuseu web site together with the Bou Ferrer wreck has received more than 41,500 positive re-actions and has reached more than 1.5 million people. The number of followers on social media has increased considerably over the last year. To add emphasis, in terms of Facebook followers, Vliamuseu is currently in sixth place amongst the museums of Alicante Province and is forecast to climb even higher in the next few months.
Account should be taken also of the permanent Vilamuseu room in the Alicante University Museum which in 2017 received more than 29,000 visits. In addition to it being a teaching resource for the University it is an important point of information about Villajoyosa.
For the Councillor for Historical Heritage and Culture, Mariá Ángeles Gualde, all this information demonstrates that the spreading and promotion of the historical and cultural attractions of La Vila is working well. Sra Gualde said “the objective for 2018 is to increase the number of visits to municipal museums by 25% pushing it above 30,000. We hope, as well, to increase the number of teaching visits by 50%”.