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05 February 2024

Connectivity, culture and authenticity: the keys to revitalizing territories according to FITURNEXT 2024

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The fifth edition of the FITURNEXT Observatory comes to an end after four days at FITUR, highlighting territories at risk of depopulation with the success of the public and prominent speakers from the sector.

FITURNEXT, the FITUR Observatory dedicated to promoting good tourism practices that enhance sustainability, sponsored by Enrique Tomás, closes an edition dedicated to how tourism can contribute to territorial revitalization after a program of talks, presentations and round tables with public authorities, initiatives and experts on the subject. More than 600 people attended the more than 20 dialogues where there was a common reflection: the territories at risk of depopulation have a potential equal or greater than the reference tourist destinations.

Specifically, all the speakers reflected a shared vision to promote rural destinations that safeguard historical heritage and help revitalize the territories. Connectivity as a tool to attract travelers and increase partnerships between destinations, culture as the backbone of a territory that values local communities and authenticity, the unique experiences that a destination can offer. All this contributes not only to tourism and the presence of visitors, but also to the arrival of new residents, services and infrastructures that, in conclusion, help to alleviate depopulation and revitalize territories.

Public policies to alleviate depopulation

One of the highlights of this year's FiturNext program was the presence of political authorities and their contributions on territorial protection. Particularly noteworthy was the round table discussion by Francesc Boya Alós, Secretary General for the Demographic Challenge, Ruben Torres, Delegate for Toledo Commissioner for the Demographic Challenge, Juan González Mellizo, Head of Communication of the European Commission Representation in Spain, who focused on the importance of implementing public policies that are committed to the positive impact on the territories and the promotion of replicability, closely linked to the Observatory.

Also noteworthy was the debate on local policies in depopulated territories in which the mayors were the protagonists. Laura Vicente Torréns, Mayor of Fuentes de Oñoro, Miguel Ángel Herrera, Mayor of Genalguacil, Daniel Riera, Mayor of San Agustín, reflected on the attraction, not only of visitors, but also of companies and entrepreneurs. In addition, Enrique Tomás, CEO of Enrique Tomás, sponsor of FITURNEXT 2024, Enrique Tomás led one of the highlights of the edition by presenting among friends and acquaintances his new project "País Jamón Tour", a journey to the origin of ham with different experiences that have been called "Iberian Bellotourism".

The experience of the initiatives and a workshop with students

The FITURNEXT program also included the participation of the winning and finalist initiatives of the fifth edition in a series of inspiring talks. These included presentations by the winning initiatives Genalguacil Pueblo Museo, Recartografías and Camino del Cid, and the finalists Abriendo Pueblos by T-Guío, Mama Uma Travel and Centro Expositivo ROM, among others. All of them talked about local experiences to revitalize territories and enhance the value of history, culture and roots.

The third day welcomed IMPULSA IGUALDAD, winner of the third edition of FITURNEXT with the Tur4ALL platform and how the organization is positioning universal accessibility.

Finally, the Observatory closed the program with a workshop with tourism students from different universities in the country who, using the Pentagrowth methodology, explored the tourism of the future to make a destination sustainable, innovative and inclusive.

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