Embargoed: 11.30 am CET/5.30 am EST
LONG BEACH ISLAND AND MENORCA HAVE BECOME SISTER ISLANDS
A New Website, Island Advisor, Will Support the Project
Menorca, Spain & Long Beach Island, New Jersey – 17 May 2012 – A new project to link Long Beach Island (LBI) and the Spanish Mediterranean Island of Menorca in a ´sister islands´ project is being simultaneously announced today on Long Beach Island, New Jersey and in Menorca, Spain by Lori Pepenella, Destination Marketing Director for the LBI Region, and the initiators of a new website, http://www.islandadvisor.com, based in Menorca.
The idea behind the ¨Sister Islands¨ project is to showcase and generate publicity for both destinations, and facilitate a ´Cultural Exchange´. The principal objective is to learn and share experiences, and explore similarities and differences.
The project started in August 2011, after conversations between Janet Greco, a former LBI resident, and LBI business owner Dick Jeffries, who expressed interest in developing the idea. The formal project was initiated by Lori Pepenella, Destination Marketing Director for the LBI Region and a representative of the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce.
Lori reached out to Janet, now a resident of Menorca, in August of 2011, and after months of planning, a new website, Island Advisor, was designed in collaboration with Lluc Pallejà, CEO of Extens Solucions SL, an IT firm headquartered in Menorca.
Launched today, http://www.islandadvisor.com , supports both the Sister Islands cultural exchange and also provides a platform for marketing both locations, which have a number of things in common.
First, Menorca and Long Beach Island share nearly identical latitudes on the world globe. Both places have a defined summer tourism season, with a population that grows significantly during the summer months, and both are well-known family vacation destinations. The islands also share economic, touristic and environmental concerns such as beach and maritime preservation, and business growth. Menorca and Long Beach Island each have a rich history, fishing culture and their own distinct traditions. There will be many things for both communities to explore and learn about.
The promotion of Menorca and Long Beach Island has already started and this will continue on an ongoing basis as the project develops. A schools exchange program is already taking shape.
As the hub of Sister Islands project, http://www.islandadvisor.com, also functions as a standalone guide for the promotion of island businesses and events. The site offers detailed business and event information, maps, calendars, social network sharing, user reviews and ratings. The website enables the direct entry of business and event listings, which are free. There are some paid-for featured listings and advertising options as well.
The founders are now keen to invite local businesses and non-profits in both locations to directly participate in the project.
¨We wanted to create a project that our home islands could embrace while at the same time aggregating comprehensive local listings in a standalone guide for visitors that could be promoted widely,¨ said Janet Greco. ¨We would like to invite businesses and non-profits to enter their free business and event listings so we can create a really comprehensive guide for all visitors, and we are ready to facilitate any cultural exchange projects. People can contact us with their ideas and we will try to help.¨
Island Advisor has an integrated reservation booking system made possible ASHOME, the Menorca Hotel Association, which has lent its support to the project. This will provide those interested in travel to Menorca with the chance to directly check prices and availability for over 200 hotels in Menorca. The site also offers an Island Concierge service to help with bookings, advice and information about visiting both islands.
José Maria de Sintas Zaforteza, Mayor of Ciutadella de Menorca, said, ¨We are delighted that one of our residents has initiated such a project, which offers a valuable opportunity for Menorca to learn from our new friends on Long Beach Island. It also provides an international marketing window to promote our locations more broadly beyond our own shores.¨
Lori Pepenella, Destination Marketing Director for the LBI Region, said, ¨We are very excited about this, and look forward to getting to know our new friends in Menorca. We look forward to working with Janet and Lluc to make the project a sustained success and hope that local businesses will take advantage of the opportunity offered to fully showcase what each island has to offer on the website.¨
Island Advisor can be accessed online at http://www.islandadvisor.com
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Note to editors:
Background information – Menorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
Menorca, a Spanish Mediterranean island located in the Balearics, sits within a group four islands (Mallorca, Menorca, Eivissa and Formentera). The regional population is 1.1 million, while the population of Menorca is 94,000. Menorca is situated 225 kms (139 miles) southeast of Barcelona, the nearest large city. Languages spoken are Catalan, Spanish (Castellano)
Background information – Long Beach Island, New Jersey:
Long Beach Island, or ¨LBI¨ is situated in southern New Jersey and is a part of the overall New York metropolitan region, the largest metropolitan region of the United States, with a regional population of 22m people. Long Beach Island is located 2.5 hours from New York City and 1.5 hours from Philadelphia.
ALL ENQUIRIES: Janet Greco
Tel: (856) 861 6159 (USA)
Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce
Tel: +1 609 494 7211 (USA)