FiturNext 2024 kicks off its four-day program on tourism as an engine to fight depopulation

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FiturNext, the FITUR Observatory dedicated to promoting best practices in tourism that highlight sustainability, sponsored by Enrique Tomás, has launched four days focused on exploring how tourism can contribute to territorial revitalization. The inauguration kicked off with the presentation of awards, followed by the presentation of the FiturNext 2024 report: Towards territorial revitalization through tourism.

This document, presented by Francisco Rodríguez, head of the tourism area at Ideas for Change, the entity that developed the research, gathers the good tourism practices of this fifth edition and the main conclusions of the analysis. “One of the lessons learned from this edition was that offering tourism services can revitalize territories by creating new opportunities, attracting new residents, improving public services and developing the local economy”, among other aspects, said Rodriguez.

The winning initiatives of FiturNext 2024, the stars of the show

One of the highlights of the edition is the awarding of prizes to the winning initiatives and the special mention to the finalists. Nuria Salvador, secretary of Recartografías, Miguel Ángel Herrera, Mayor of Genalguacil and promoter of Genalguacil Pueblo Museo along with Marta Calvente, Councilor of Tourism, and Vicente J. Mompó Aledo, President of the Diputación de Valencia who received the award for Camino del Cid, were in charge of representing the initiatives during the ceremony.

After the presentation, a series of presentations and conversations with the representatives took place. Daniel Riera, Mayor of San Agustín, Isabel San Juan and Núria Salvador, from the Recartografías team, talked about the success story of land stewardship and tourism in Mas Blanco and San Agustín (Teruel). During the session, Riera pointed out that San Agustín is “making the most of depopulation by promoting the tourist resources offered by the Gúdar-Javalambre region, such as astronomical tourism with Starlight certification, sustainability and family tourism”.

For their part, Miguel Ángel Herrera and Marta Calvente detailed the case of Genalguacil Pueblo Museo and the contribution of art in the fight against depopulation and territorial decentralization. Herrera commented that in the museums and artistic projects that can be seen in the town, “the neighbors recognize themselves, a fact that does not normally occur in any national artistic center, since many are created behind the back of the local community”.

Finally, Javier Martín Olmos, Manager of the local action group Tierras del Cid, and Alberto Luque, Manager of the Consorcio Camino del Cid, had a conversation about the winning initiative and their proposals for a trip to the interior of Spain. Luque has highlighted the symbolism of Camino del Cid as a journey that seeks “to find the satisfaction of travelers through oneself and a literary journey inspired by the historical character of the Cid”.

Inauguration marks the kick-off of FiturNext 2024 program

Throughout the morning the stand was also attended by Ana Abade, Public Affairs Manager Spain and Portugal of Booking, Ignacio Sanchís, Commercial Director of Hispasat and Antonio Calvo Roy, Sustainability Director of Redeia, in a round table moderated by Javier Creus, founder and CEO of Ideas for Change, on rural revitalization. Connectivity, experiences with the territories beyond traditional tourism and how villages can become centers of entrepreneurship.

The first day kicked off FiturNext 2024, which will take place at the Ifema exhibition center until Saturday, January 27. The program included a round table with Francesc Boya Alós, Secretary General for the Demographic Challenge, Ruben Torres, Delegate for Toledo Commissioner for the Demographic Challenge and Juan González Mellizo, Head of Communication at the European Commission Representation in Spain, moderated by Francisco Rodríguez on “Public policies with a depopulation perspective”.

In addition, experts from the tourism sector will be present, such as Blanca Pérez-Sauquillo, Deputy Director General of Marketing at Turespaña, Antonio López de Ávila, UNWTO (Best Tourism Villages) and Enrique Martínez Marín, SEGITTUR. Winning and finalist initiatives of the past edition and challenges will also participate as speakers such as Luz Marina Gil, Technician of Accessible Tourism, Universal Accessibility and Inclusive Culture in the TUR4all area of IMPULSA IGUALDAD, Carolina Heredia, Mama Uma Travel and Serafina Buj, Abriendo pueblos by T- Guío.

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