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Jose Blanco AM

Jose was born in Gijon, in the north of Spain, and has lived most of his life in Australia.

After a decade-long career as a lawyer, he moved into banking in 1990 and served as the Australia and New Zealand Country Manager for Banco Santander, Spain's largest bank and a major force in the Latin American banking scene, until late 2011. After stepping down from that role, Jose joined forces with a number of colleagues to establish Blanco Partners, a specialist advisory firm focused on the markets of Australia, Latin America and Spain.

Since 1990, Jose has been a frequent visitor to both Spain and Latin America, both for business and pleasure, leading business delegations and tour groups alike.

In one way or another, Jose's career has always been associated with Spain and Latin America. Jose served as the Chairman of the Australia-Latin America Business Council from 1991 until 2018. Between 1982 and 2008, Jose served as a director of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce, the last six years as its President. At the same time, between 2001 and 2010, Jose served as Deputy Chairman of the Australian Government's Council on Australia Latin America Relations. In recognition of his work in building Australia's relationship with Latin America, Jose was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2019.

More recently, Jose has become a director of the Team Lopez Foundation, a charity that is committed to raising funds to invest in finding a cure for pancreatic cancer.

Jose has an equal commitment to life beyond work and has a strong passion for cooking and showcasing the food and wine of Spain and Latin America. Pursuits that are nurtured by his frequent visits to both destinations, as well as his extensive library of regional cookbooks and his willingness to tackle new recipes and wines in the company of friends and family.

Your Hosts - Jose & Leona Blanco 

Jose and Leona Blanco - Your hosts Jose and Leona Blanco - Your hosts


Leona Blanco

Leona was born in Adelaide, but has lived most of her life in Sydney. She has successfully combined a career in law dating from 1981 with the equally demanding roles of motherhood, bon vivant and social secretary extraordinaire to many and varied causes.

Leona continues to work in the legal arena for an international firm, Clyde & Co, having established herself as an acknowledged and respected expert in the field of knowledge management.

Her passion for travel knows no bounds and her love of Spain and Latin America dates from the 1980s, when she started visiting both destinations on a regular basis, including a memorable honeymoon that featured the wonders of Argentina and shopping bargains that have never been forgotten.

Her varied interests range from horses (with the ultimate dream of course being to one day be involved in winning the Melbourne Cup), to reading, singing and dancing, fine wine, good food and hunting down the best bargains wherever she finds herself.

Leona's energy and vibrant personality ensures that all tours are blessed with laughter, warmth and special touches.


Our Origin Our Tours Other Services
The Blanco Touring Company has been created in response to the encouragement of a growing band of friends and associates who have travelled with us over the years and believe in our ability to host memorable vacations to destinations that we know well and love, Spain and Latin America. We offer memorable escorted small group vacations that are created on the foundations of fascinating destinations, fabulous food, good wine and above all, great company. The Blanco Touring Company can create a memorable tour for the individual traveller or small group alike. Given sufficient notice, we can either host your tour or find the ideal person to do so, having regard to your particular area of interests and specific requirements.