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26 June 2023

How tourism can contribute to the revitalization of territories, the FiturNext 2024 challenge

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FITUR 2024 will be held from 24 to 28 January at IFEMA MADRID.

In its fifth edition, the Observatory will award tourism initiatives that contribute to revitalizing territories and mitigating depopulation with the aim of promoting employment and local consumption, reducing inequalities in rural areas and promoting a balance between the rural, the urban and sustainability.

FITUR is looking for good tourism practices for the fifth edition of the FiturNext Observatory, the initiative to promote sustainable and regenerative tourism. The 2024 challenge is framed around how tourism can contribute to the revitalization of territories, in line with various United Nations Sustainable Development Goals aimed at reducing inequalities and promoting the economic and local development of a destination.

Any initiative that promotes the mitigation of depopulation, caused mainly by the exodus of people from rural areas to large cities, can sign up on this form until August 31. The selected projects, following the criteria of a replicability barometer and an impact barometer, will be awarded during the International Tourism Trade Fair (FITUR) in January 2024.

Impact indicators to evaluate initiatives

A series of metrics will help measure the initiatives' contribution to the challenge to understand their positive impact. Specifically, they will analyze how they promote:

  • Visitor growth: It is vital to analyze the increase of people visiting the destination in order to start a revitalization process.
  • Increase in tourism services: The increase in visitors stimulates the creation of new opportunities and services to meet the demand.
  • Increased connectivity: These aforementioned indicators lead to improvements in territorial connectivity.
  • Number of new businesses created: More demand, more business offerings in both the tourism and non-tourism sectors.
  • Commerce: Increase in commercial activities on the territory and surroundings.
  • Employment: The increase in new services, businesses, connectivity and trade leads to new job opportunities in the territory.
  • Population growth: Attraction of new inhabitants as a result of the previous indicators.
  • Increase of children in the territory (annual ratio): Natural population increase in the destination, both in number of children and young people. All this strengthens the future of the territory.
  • Increase of basic services (schools, health centers, pharmacies...): New commercial activities and new inhabitants generate the increase of basic services that cover the needs of the population.

Last FiturNext webinar to warm up engines

The last dialogue organized by the Observatory on the 2024 Challenge took place on June 14. Antonia Varela, director of the Starlight Foundation, winning initiative of the first edition of FiturNext, Alberto Pordomingo, co-founder of Apadrina un Olivo, also winning initiative of 2020, and Gemma Roselló, founder of Sentir El Alto Tajo, finalist project of the third edition, were the protagonists of the meeting.

The experts reflected on the 2024 Challenge, based on their experiences and services in rural areas and how they enhance the destinations through their tourism proposals. The webinar served as a kick-off for the fifth edition of FiturNext, which is already looking for initiatives. The webinar is available at this link.

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FITUR is one of the world's leading trade fairs for tourism events and a hub par excellence for the Ibero-American market. Organised by IFEMA MADRID, it will hold its 44nd edition from 24 to 28 January 2024 at the Spanish capital's Trade Fair Centre, with the support of its declaration by the Government as an Event of Exceptional Public Interest. Added to this is the significant support it receives from institutions, countries and destinations, hotel chains, agencies and tour operators, technology companies, suppliers, means of transport, etc., which make FITUR a great platform of reference for discovering new developments, proposals and future trends in terms of specialisation, technology and sustainability, and the essential event for the entire international tourism industry.