The next edition of the FITUR International Tourism Fair, “Tourism Recovery Special,” has announced the winners of the 26th Awards for the Best Active Tourism Product. The competition is organised together with AireLibre (Open Air) Magazine, to boost development and marketing in the tourism industry. It focuses on promoting products in adventure tourism, culture, nature, food and wine, technology development, accessibility, and the environment.
This year’s jury included end consumers, tourism professionals, the media and tourism sector representatives, and it was a challenging task. The nearly a hundred proposals by exhibitors and co-exhibitors at FITUR 2021, stood out for their excellent quality. Finally, after a complex deliberation with over 8000 votes cast by end consumers and professionals, the following products were awarded the prizes: In the national category, Elixe Galicia (Choose Galicia, Galicia), the Holy Grail adventure (Valencia), the Val D’Aran Walking Festival (Lleida, Catalonia), and Barranco de la Leze (Álava, Basque Country). And in the international category, Cultural immersion in the Orpheus Mountains, Bulgaria, and Korea Tourism Organization’s promotion of 100 Contact-Free tourist sites, Korea. All six will receive a badge from identifying them as award winners at FITUR’s next edition.
The awards will be presented as part of the FITUR “Tourism Recovery Special” programme, which exceptionally this year takes place from 19th to 23rd May, at Feria de Madrid.
NATIONAL CATEGORY WINNERS
Elixe Galicia (Choose Galicia), Galicia
This is a travel programme subsidised by the Galicia regional government to promote tourism from within Galicia, to boost economic development, stimulate tourism outside the high season and encourage Galicians to learn more about their region. It consists of travel packages with different themes marketed by travel agencies and aimed at a strategic market: young people under 30, families, and pensioners over 55. It includes four themes: Coasts, Historical and Cultural Heritage, Nature, and Spas. www.turismo.gal
The Valencia Holy Grail Adventure, Valencia Region
A free multimedia geocaching experience celebrating the Jubilee Year of this relic, reputed to be the cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper. Using the Whereigo mobile app, there are challenges at eleven representative places around the city of Valencia, combining real and virtual environments. www.visitvalencia.com
Val D’Aran Walking Festival, Lleida, Catalonia
The Val d’Aran Walking Festival is a hiking event in the Aran Valley, in Lleida. Hikers and nature lovers from around the world enjoy its landscapes, culture, heritage and gastronomy accompanied by professional guides. The guides lead the way along routes through emblematic and little known places of outstanding natural beauty. There are more than 25 hill-walking routes with different levels of difficulty, and a wide range of activities to enable walkers to get to know its itineraries, and its natural, cultural and gastronomic heritage, which make this valley perfect for hiking. There are packages including all the Festival’s services and activities so that all travellers have to worry about is enjoying the walking. Itineraries are organised to include cultural visits to the Aran valley’s Romanesque heritage sites and ethnographic museums. There are gastronomic events for sampling local products, stargazing trips, workshops, and many other attractions. www.camins.net
Barranco de la Leze, in Alava, Basque Country
La Leze is a spectacular climb down through a canyon that crosses the Sierra de Altzania underground. Within the Aizkorri-Aratz Natural Park in Alava (Basque Country), this is the jewel in the crown of Basque canyoning. The La Leze Cave is 80 meters high and crosses the massif of the Sierra de Altzania from north to south. Gouged from limestone rock, and with plenty of fossils, its geological features make it unique in Europe. There are only seven other comparable caves in the world. The cave was made by the natural outflow of water from the valley on the other side of the sierra, known as the Hoya de La Leze. From there it flows down through the Artzanegi river, crossing the Altzania mountain range from one side to the other, and makes its way through the karstic system and becomes an underground river with its natural outlet at the cave entrance in the village of Ilarduia, Álava. There are several waterfalls inside the endokarst, as the cave entrance is at a much higher altitude than the exit. It beckons you to go down into the ravine gouged out by the river, and to cross the mountain, overcoming all the challenges, including jumps, rappels, abseiling, in complete darkness, with only headlamps to guide you. www.inguruabentura.com
INTERNATIONAL CATEGORY WINNERS
Cultural Immersion in the Orpheus Mountains, Bulgaria
Get to know the country’s most authentic region on a unique journey on board the narrow-gauge Rhodope Railway. This small Bulgarian railway is a jewel that runs through the heart of the mountains in the Rhodopes region, the cradle of the myth of Orpheus and one of the most beautiful areas of Bulgaria. http://tandem-travel.com
Korea Tourism Organization’s promotion of 100 Contact-Free tourist sites, Korea
The Korea Tourism Organisation has developed 100 contactless travel destinations to boost domestic travel demand and disperse travel demand across the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic by compiling a “contactless travel list” showing the level of contract-free travel through big data analysis. http://kto.visitkorea.or.kr/eng.kto#