The Spanish General Secretary for Tourism, Mr. Raimón Martínez, conveyed a message of optimism on the industry during the presentation of the FITUR 2004 Awards, highlighting the favourable climate in Spanish tourism, and emphasizing the value of Spain as a safe destination. Furthermore, he appealed to all members of the tourist sector, including the Government, to pursue their professionalization of the industry, and made reference to the important role played by FITUR as one of the best promotional instruments in Spanish tourism.
These declarations took place on 1st July at the Juan Carlos I Exhibition Centre in Madrid during the presentation of the various FITUR 2004 Awards: the Stands Competition, the Best Active Tourism Product and the FITUR/Jorge Vila Fradera Forum. The winners of these awards were chosen during the last edition of the International Tourism Trade Fair that took place last January.
With the stands prize and awards for the best active tourism products and most outstanding piece of tourism research, FITUR recognized the considerable efforts made by the tourist industry to define its future strategies and adapt to ever-changing demand, following rigorous criteria in terms of quality, professionalism and competitiveness.
In this respect, FITUR 2004 provided the setting for the Twenty-Fourth Stands Competition, aimed at recognizing companies and institutions for their outstanding stand presentations; the Ninth Best Active Tourism Product Competition, aimed at rewarding the offer within this field, on a national and international level, and the Fifth FITUR/Jorge Vila Fradera Forum for the best pieces of tourism research.
The stands that received awards at FITUR 2004 in the countries category were Central America, Venezuela and Portugal; in the Spanish Regions category the stands of Cantabria, Galicia and the Canary Islands, with a special mention to Madrid 2012 City Hall and finally, in the companies and institutions category, AENA, Paradores de Turismo de España and AC Hotels.
The overall winner of the ninth edition of the Best Active Tourism Product Competition and winner of the Adventure Category- was “Las raíces de Castilla. Por las tierras del Cid Camino del Destierro” (The roots of Castile. Through the Lands of El Cid: Path of Exile), which travels through the lands of Burgos and Soria. Within the Nature category, the prize went to the “Detective Weekend” (Llanes and Colombres, Asturias) whilst in the Culture category, the winner was “Convivium: Meals in the Roman Era” (Parador de Mérida). Within the International category, the winner was “The Dominican East”.
Furthermore, the Jury’s Special Mentions went to the following: “In Search of Green Gold: The Route of the Gancheros”, presented by Guadalajara; the “Rocinante Project. Network of eco-tourism routes in Castilla-La Mancha”, and the “Jump of the Canary Shepherd – Tenerife”, a traditional sport.
Finally, the FITUR/Jorge Vila Fradera Forum, used its fifth edition to recognize the work presented by a Lecturer from the Faculty of Economics and Business Studies at the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Mr. Desiderio J. García Almeida, “Knowledge Transfer in the Expansion of Hotel Chains”.
The International Tourism Trade Fair, FITUR 2005, is already making preparations for a very special edition, its twenty-fifth, which will take place between 26th and 30th January 2005 at the Juan Carlos I Exhibition Centre in Madrid. During this edition, the fair will once again stage its traditional awards, including the Twenty-Fifth Stands Competition, the tenth Best Active Tourism Product and the Sixth FITUR/Jorge Vila Fradera Forum.