The two most important fairs related to snow, mountains and rural tourism fulfilled expectations in their second joint celebration on November 14, 15 and 16, 2008 at Feria de Madrid (IFEMA), a venue equipped with all services necessary to satisfy the needs of the visitor: wi-fi zone, wide range of restaurants, access adapted for people with disabilities, etc. In an area of about 16,000 m2, with 200 exhibitors, 14 autonomous communities and with the international presence of the United States, France, Nepal and Norway, some 45,000 visitors enjoyed the most dynamic ski and mountain fair / Naturiva 2008 (National Fair of Snow Sports, Mountain and their Tourist Destinations).
Ski and Mountain / Naturiva, the two most important fairs in Spain related to snow, mountain and rural tourism, close their doors with great success from visitors and exhibitors despite the uncertainty that the sector is experiencing due to the global economic situation . The event has received about 45,000 visitors in the three days of celebration, and has had the presence of more than 200 exhibitors (also counting the co-exhibitors). This represents a notable increase over last year as far as the public is concerned.
The Aragón Snow ski slope and the freestyle track were two of the great attractions of the fairs. The last round of the Spanish Climbing Cup also attracted attention. The climbing wall was 9 m wide and 15 m long and dropped down to 9 meters to achieve the necessary difficulty.
The importance of the support and participation of public institutions was confirmed once again with the presence of fourteen autonomous communities and other public companies of a regional and local nature, in addition to the participation of the Ministry of the Environment and Rural and Marine World. On the other hand, the entity of the event again endorses the international participation, represented by the United States, France, Norway and Nepal.
The second joint edition of Ski and Mountain / Naturiva featured a large number of activities for all audiences, among which the Vallnord children’s area and adventure activities stood out, with two climbing towers for children, a Tibetan bridge and a MTB circuit.
The dates of this great contest are determined by the beginning of the ski season and allow planning trips to rural and natural areas for the whole year. And it is that the sectors involved are innumerable:
- Ski and mountain resorts, Spanish and foreign
- Specialized travel agencies
- Ski and mountain clubs and schools
- Shops specialized in ski and mountain li >
- Manufacturers and distributors of ski, mountain and active leisure equipment
- Workshops specialized in repairing sports equipment
- Accommodation, hotels and rural houses located in mountain areas li>
- Specialized press
- Federations, associations and other sports entities
- Accessories related to cars in the snow
- Brands related to sports, protection and sports safety
- Means of transport
- Insurance companies
- Gastronomy and food in destinations and specialties
- Manufacturers and distributors of vehicles, machinery and equipment for ski and mountain resorts
- Institutions and public and private organizations related to safety and rescue in the mon taña
- Real estate management companies
- Autonomous communities with mountain tourist destinations and natural spaces
- Municipalities and Associations of tourist interest related to the mountains and rural areas
- Foundations and associations promoting mountain and inland destinations
- Armed forces and security forces that carry out their work in the mountains
Ski and Mountain, & nbsp; a fair organized by Exivia and promoted by the Tourist Association of Ski and Mountain Resorts (ATUDEM), and Naturiva, promoted and organized by Exivia, joined in 2007 in an unprecedented event with the ambitious objective of unify in the same space all the tourist offer related to mountains and nature, with special emphasis on winter sports and a special involvement in promoting and supporting environmental and rural development policies.
Naturiva, which took over from Expotural as a platform for the dissemination of rural tourism and the International Ecotourism Fair, appointed Jesús Calleja honorary president in 2008, as the successor to Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to top Everest.
The idea, driven by the qualitative and quantitative development of rural tourism, was to offer the visiting public the possibility of accessing an alternative leisure offer appropriate to all seasons of the year. Naturiva is a marketing brand that emerged with the aim of taking advantage of the synergies created by an existing event, Expotural, to create an international promotion platform for mountains and natural spaces based in the three most important cities in Spain: Madrid , Barcelona and Seville.
The Naturiva concept appeared last year, associated with another highly relevant event, Ski and Mountain, in response to the trends that require new policies to combat climate change and the conservation of natural resources and in order to bring together to all agents related to the sustainable development of rural and natural tourist areas. Ski and Mountain and Naturiva share some objectives that guarantee the convenience of their joint celebration due to their complementary nature and that could be summarized as follows:
- Offer companies related to tourism a unique platform in which they can make profitable their promotional actions among a demanding and at the same time very active public.
- Gather in a single space all the agents related to the Rural and mountain tourism, with special attention to snow sports.
- Becoming a channel for transmitting the values of environmental sustainability and tourism revitalization in rural and natural areas.
- Maintain the progressive internationalization of the event, taking advantage of the tendency of the Spanish tourist to take advantage of low-cost trips to visit other countries.
- To become a reference event at the beginning of the ski season, marked by the first major snowfalls and the opening of the main mountain stations.
- Establishment among the Madrid public as a unique event in which they can plan their vacations and getaways throughout the year and bring people closer to The majority public sports related to the natural environment, such as climbing, skiing or snowboarding.
Rural tourism, an upward option in times of crisis
At a time of uncertainty for tourism in general, tourism in rural and natural areas is presented as an excellent alternative for the traveler due to the possibility of adapting their vacations to the most affordable budget at a time when tourism stopped be a luxury to become a staple good, which is also enjoyed throughout the year.
Overnight stays in rural tourism accommodation, which have been reduced in 2008 for the first time in the last four years, has the advantage over sun and beach tourism that about 80 percent of its consumers are Spanish, so It is not affected by the drop in foreign visitors that has been experienced in the last season.
In Spain there are 119,218 rural accommodation places registered, which represents an increase of 11.2 percent with respect to 2007, and a total of 631,850 overnight stays were recorded in that month of September alone. In addition, there are 20,275 people employed only in the accommodation section, without taking into account the indirect jobs generated by rural tourism (adventure sports, active tourism, gastronomy, crafts, etc.). Of the total number of travelers registered in September (222,865), more than 85 percent were Spanish and of the percentage of foreigners those from Germany (9,869) and the United Kingdom (6,947) stand out..
Castilla y León, with 2,639 rural accommodations and an estimated 23,518 beds, is the autonomous community preferred by lovers of rural tourism.
Sotur (Castilla y León): & nbsp; The adventurer Jesús Calleja visits Esquí y Montaña / Naturiva to present his latest Extreme Challenge and will sign autographs to the attendees throughout the day. For this, Calleja will have the collaboration of a Sherpa who has accompanied him on some of his trips.
In addition, the Olympic athletes Mayte Martínez, Manolo Martínez, Juan Carlos Higuero and Marta Domínguez and the former cyclist Pedro Martínez, who has changed the bicycle for the commentator microphones of Spanish Television, sign autographs and greet the public in Naturiva.
During the fair, the truck with which the pilot Gonzalo Asurmendi will compete in the next edition of the Dakar Rally is on display next to the Sotur stand.
While their parents enjoy the fair and organize their trips at the best price, the children & nbsp; can live in the children’s area & nbsp; a magical moment in space & nbsp; “Agustina and the mystery of the snow”, & nbsp; em > in which they will be able to carry out the following activities:
-Puppet workshop. The little ones will be able to build their own puppets with fabrics and other materials.
-The giant puzzle.
And all this, with the presence of Agustina herself, who will distribute stories among the participants.
- Euskadi stand. The cyclist Samuel Sánchez, Olympic road long distance champion, signs autographs at the Euskadi stand. In addition, throughout the weekend two jerseys and two shorts of the Euskaltel Euskadi will be raffled.
- Andalusian organic products area. Promoted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries of the Junta de Andalucía, & nbsp; made up of ten small spaces where you can taste and buy the products obtained through the techniques of organic farming, promoted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries of the Junta de Andalucía.
- Along with the ecological products area, the Parque Natural de Andalucía brand bus encourages the promotion of the brand’s products and services on its route through 70 municipalities of the Andalusian natural parks and the eight provincial capitals of Andalusia, in addition to various fairs.
- Adventure activities area. It will consist of:
-Two climbing towers.
-A tibetan bridge.
-BBT circuit for children.
- Argentina stand. Several daily shows of typical Argentine dances, by a couple of dancers.
- Stand shared by Manzanares el Real and Miraflores de la Sierra. Tasting of cheeses from Manzanares el Real and Miraflores de la Sierra throughout the day and tasting of curd and honey from Miraflores at noon on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
- Stand of SDL Investigación y Divulgación del Environment. Raffle of a free trip for two people of the sustainable tourism program & nbsp; ‘Abraza tus Árboles’ , a pioneering initiative in Europe in which Todo Arbol, the NGO Bosques Sin Fronteras and the specialized travel agency participate to Arawak nature. & nbsp; ‘Embrace your Trees’ & nbsp; designs and organizes trips to learn from experts the oldest, largest, most historic and beautiful trees in the world, that is, the most singular.