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29 January 2020

FITURNEXT Presented the Results of the Observatory’s First Challenge at FITUR 2020: How Can Tourism Contribute To Local Economic Development

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Over 3500 people took part in FITURNEXT activities at FITUR. The Observatory presented a programme of activities, its annual report and the FITURNEXT 2020 awards at its stand.

The FITURNEXT Sustainability Observatory has encouraged FITUR attendees to get to know better the initiatives it selected for its 2020 Challenge: “How Can Tourism Contribute to Local Economic Development?” with activities and expert presentations.

The FITURNEXT programme offered 16 discussions and presentations among which there was a panel discussion on “Smart Destinations, Destinations With a Future” with the participation of Edurne Vidal, project manager for smart tourist destinations at Segittur, and Antonio López de Ávila, President and CEO of Tourism Data-Driven Solutions (TDDS). Fernando Gallardo, hotel critic at newspaper EL PAÍS, debated with Mara Balestrini, CEO of Ideas for Change, on the theme “More Empowered Travellers: Changing the Rules for the Tourism of the Future. Jesús Navarro, CEO of INNSAI, presented a study carried out for Bankia on the trends that will change the tourism business model in 2025.

Meanwhile, the FITURNEXT stand presented the awards for the winning initiatives in this first edition (Apadrina un Olivo (Sponsor an Olive Tree), Starlight Foundation and Soap for Hope). And Javier Creus and Mara Balestrini, FITURNEXT coordinators, announced the new FITURNEXT 2021 Challenge: How Can Tourism Promote Gender Equality and the Women’s Empowerment?

The stand also distributed the FITURNEXT 2020 report to Fair attendees and held other presentations, such as the one about the launch of the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative presented by the United Nations World Tourism Organization and One Planet COMM.

On the Saturday, FITURNEXT 2020 presented a panel discussion with some of the initiatives covered by the observatory dealing with the challenge “How Can Tourism Contribute to Local Economic Development?” Arantxa Hernández from Vías Verdes (Green Trails) explained how this initiative promotes rural development in Spain through sustainable tourism and repurposing existing infrastructure such as abandoned railway lines. Ángela Rodríguez de Totonal presented about the activities of this Mexican company that works with local cooperatives to design tailor-made excursions. María del Carmen de Reparaz from Plan Wallata and Turismo Cuida (Tourism Cares) spoke about this project that protects the cultural and natural heritage of Ollantaytambo, Peru, through sustainable tourism.

Find out more about the Observatory and the winning practices at