The Andalusian Tourism Council has approved the declaration of Tourist Interest in Andalusia of the World Ham Contest ‘Popi, City of Estepona’which is held in August in that town in Malaga, as reported by the Board in a statement on Monday.

This event, organized by Jose Maria Tellez ‘Popi’a professional ham cutter -hence its name- in mid-August with the collaboration of the Estepona Town Hall, receives more than 6,000 people a day during the seven days of the celebration, thus proving the tourist impact in the field of the autonomous community.

Of this visitsat least between 30-40% of the attendees, are from outside the town of Estepona, exceeding this figure of 20% of the total number of attendees required.

“With these statements the excellent touristic offer that our community has. The destination Andalusia presents a variety of events and festivities that show the cultural essence of each of our municipalities. We are looking for visitors who are interested in everything that makes us unique, our roots and these declarations serve to promote these events in the national and international market”, Bernal pointed out.

In relation to the media coverageanother of the criteria valued for its declaration, in the last five years it has demonstrated a wide presence in both national and international media, both in magazines, radio, digital press or print media, reaching, today, more than 4,000 results in the Google search engine when mentioning ‘Jamón Popi Contest’.

On the other hand, this event offers during its celebration traditional gastronomic recipeswith a clear reference to seafood -among which sardines, redfish and brotola stand out, without forgetting the area’s prawns, octopus, or red mullet-, thus complying with another of the valued requirements for its declaration of Tourist Interest in Andalusia.

The gastronomy of Estepona is part of the traditional Andalusian gastronomic offer, which constitutes an important element of the cultural identity of the Andalusian people.

In addition, the ‘Popi, Ciudad de Estepona’ World Ham Contest brings together unique gastronomic characteristics that contribute to the enrichment and diversification of the traditional tourist offer that can be found on the Costa del Sol, in particular, and in Andalusia, at a national level. general, adding to all of them the singularity of being an event where Quality Iberian ham at very affordable pricesthe Board has indicated in a statement.

Together with its gastronomic offer, the event stands out for its originality, since there is no event of similar characteristics declared as Tourist Interest in Andalusia. In this contest, since 2014, the profession of ham cutter has been promoted, while at the same time making known the large number of cutters from Iberian ham producers who market their Iberian pork products under the denominations of origin existing in the current national territory.

Its distinction as being of Tourist Interest in Andalusia is also endorsed by an adequate equipment of accommodation and tourist services in line with its tourist impact.

Thus, in 2022, according to the Andalusian Tourism Registry (RTA), Estepona has 38,015 accommodation places that cover the visits received. In addition, it also has a Tourist Office duly registered in the RTA, seven golf courses, sports facilities, infrastructure for meeting tourism, 300 catering establishments, leisure and entertainment establishments-among which Selwo Aventura and the Royal School stand out. Ecuestre del Sol-, car rental companies, multi-adventure companies and first class shows.

Similarly, it has tourist attractions that enrich the visit, such as Protected Natural Areas -Sierra Bermeja Natural Park, among others- and assets of cultural interest, where it is worth noting the Casa de las Tejerinas, the Casa del Aljibe, the Aqueduct del Ángel or the old town, where the visitor can enjoy narrow, white streets adorned with pots loaded with flowers.

The Contest, which carries out periodic promotional actions -one more of the requirements for recognition as a Tourist Interest of Andalusia- brings together more than 200 ham cutters, men and women, in each edition, favoring equality, in a profession traditionally of Andalusian origin , closely linked to the national product par excellence, Iberian ham, highly demanded by national and international tourists.

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