Rio Tinto Mining Park received 96,975 visitors in 2019, up 4197 (4.4%) on the previous year, which gives continuity to its sustained growth in recent years and consolidates its position as Spain’s leading industrial tourism destination.
According to a press release from the Foundation, it’s delighted with the results which comply with the primary objective of the Foundation – promoting the recovered heritage of 5000 years of mining and industrial history in the region to contribute to its socio-economic development, knowledge about the mines and creating activities as part of the visits.
Two factors stand out in the growth experienced in 2019, the mild climate last year and the positive reception of the developments and improvements introduced.
These include putting on night trains on the days close to the full moon during the summer months, keeping the Peña de Hierro Interpretation Centre open throughout the year and more recently the museumization of the Santa María gallery in the old mining complex located in the municipality of Nerva, which was severely affected by a fire in August and had to be closed for five months.
All this has led to an increase in tour operators and travel agencies booking visits for organised groups, which led to over 10,000 people visiting the park for the first time in four months last year: two in spring, one in summer and one in autumn, which resulted in an improved seasonal balance.
The visitors’ profile remains the same, with families being the most frequent, together with groups from travel agencies and tour operators and schools (21,000 students from different levels of education).
The journey on the old mining railway in contact with the peculiar ecosystem of the River Tinto, the enjoyment of the incredible landscapes shaped by the human hand, the visit to the old Peña de Hierro mine and the 200-metre tour of its galleries, the Mining Museum and Casa 21, a restored Victorian engineer’s house in the English quarter, all provide for a complete and varied experience that satisfies all audiences, from the adventurous to the cultural or scientific