EXPOTURAL, the Nature, Climate and Sustainable Tourism Fair, was introduced to the main players in the tourism sector at the Community of Madrid stand at FITUR. Carlos González, Sales Director of IFEMA; Stephan Labarrieri, CEO of Abeo; José Manuel Vilanova, promoter of Expotural, and Alfonso Polvorinos, Technical Director of Expotural, explained the key aspects of this event, which has returned to Madrid reinvigorated, with a clear international ambition and a programme of events and content that make it the biggest forum in terms of experience and knowledge about the environment.
The fair, which is organised by IFEMA, will be held from 1 to 4 November 2018. It will present its main courses of action in the area of corporate social responsibility, as it is the only fair in Spain that is firmly committed to sustainability, climate and nature in three ways:
- By making a direct financial contribution to a reforestation project (directly benefiting biodiversity conservation and indirectly benefiting the climate), which will come from a percentage of the entry fee.
- By contributing to fighting climate change and promoting sustainability. The aim is to be a carbon-neutral fair by offsetting the carbon generated during the fair through carbon offsets or credits (Kyoto Protocol CERs)
- By taking part in the 2018 events of the international association “Respect The Mountains”, an international project of the UIAA (International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation), which will take place all over the world throughout the year. The UIAA will include Expotural among its 2018 events.
In the first edition of this new era, EXPOTURAL, which will be held on 1-4 November 2018, will feature more than 10,000 square metres of exhibition space dedicated to rural, nature and adventure tourism, and a richly varied national and international selection of mountain destinations around the world.
The new project will therefore include a broad cross-section of mountain sports, natural spaces, protected national parks, ornithological tourism, climbing as a new Olympic sport and adventure sports, segments that will also be extensively developed in the programme of lectures that will accompany the professional and commercial activity of EXPOTURAL.
The major milestones of this edition include, firstly, the organisation, for the first time at a trade fair, of the final stage of the Spanish Lead Climbing Cup, arranged by Entre-Prises and ABEO, for which a large xxx-metre-high rockodrome, representing Mount Everest, will tower over the centre of the fair. Secondly, in the area of information and knowledge, for the first time in Spain, the 1st Congress on Ornithological Tourism will be held, a meeting underpinned by Spain's having 10 natural spaces for birding, with almost 600 SPAs and 450 nomadic and migratory species, in addition to the first Madrid Conference on Sustainable Tourism and Climate Change.
There will be a series of one-day events that will also address active tourism and adventure sports, involving companies dedicated to rafting, trekking, hiking and other activities related to active tourism and nature-based tourism.
These events will also feature companies, entities and participating institutions, so they can present their own projects and experiences based around two major thematic areas: “National Parks and Protected Natural Areas”, a key element in a country like Spain that has the largest natural protected area in the European Union, and “Mountains and their Ecosystems”, which will act as the focal points of the fair.
A final theme will be rural gastronomy as an important distinguishing feature of rural tourism, with talks on the Mediterranean diet and the main types of rural gastronomy from the different autonomous communities that will have a presence at the fair.
This intense and attractive programme is open to the citizens of Madrid who are interested in learning about and enjoying nature and mountain tourism – always with the common denominator of the impact of climate change and from the perspective of responsibility for the protection of the environment.
In Spain today, tourism is one of the economic sectors with the most relevance and weight in GDP and job creation. Caring for the natural surroundings is therefore a very important factor of the tourism products on offer in this country, as any change in the conditions of these spaces could have a very significant impact on the future of nature tourism.