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Andalucia at FITUR 2008

Madrid Another year, another FITUR - Ferí­a Internacional de Turísmo, that is. This is an event that brings together 180 countries from around the world. The colours, sounds, aromas and flavours that are mixing at Madrid's macro trade fair facilities are exciting, inspiring and almost overwhelming. Not surprisingly, Spain has an overpowering presence at FITUR and Andalucia - the country's number one destination - stands out. Our region fills two of the Trade Fairground's enormous pavillions with flamenco, olive oil and images of sandy dunes, sunny beaches, almond groves and glimpses of quaint villages. In fact, I believe Andalucia's outstanding feature at the fair is what the organisers leave out... shhhh! (overbuildling). Anyone walking around "Andalucia" at FITUR would come away with the idea that this is one vast natural area, almost untouched by mankind. Thanks to expansive video screens and photo murals that portray only the occassional whitewashed pueblo and a few lone horseman crossing desolate plains and virgin beaches, no one would suspect that one of the prime tourist destinations - the Costa del Sol - is fast becoming a concrete jungle. On the bright side, I must say I've been inspired by the amazing growth of cultural tourism opportunities throughout Andalucia. The science museum in Granada is mushrooming at an amazing rate (and by the way, through June 2008 you can visit the "Poisonous Animals" exhibition), the province of Jaen is featuring a fascinating look at the past, present and future of olive oil over the coming months. And it seems like new routes, tours, music and dance festivals and all manner of events are springing up in every single province. Never fear! I'm gathering plenty of information in order to bring you fresh ideas throughout the year!
Blog published on 31 January 2008