UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARKS in FITUR 2019

The Geoparks stand

The presence of the Geoparks stand and activities in FITUR 2019, one of the biggest tourism fairs in the world, was very successful and contributed significantly to our common efforts to raise the profile and visibility of the UNESCO Global Geoparks as quality brand in tourism and sustainable tourism destinations!

Naturtejo UNESCO Global Geopark in Portugal and Carlos Neto de Carvalho of the GGN Working Group on Tourism, had the coordination of the Geoparks stand in FITUR with the support of the Spanish UNESCO Global Geoparks Forum and its Coordinator Asier Hilario.

The Geopark Stand was located at the Pavilion 4 – EUROPE, emphasizing the role of the UNESCO Global Geoparks as sustainable tourism destinations in 25 European Countries.

It is important to show through our participation with Global Geoparks Network (GGN) Stand to the international tourism market stakeholders that GGN represents the global network of cooperation of GEOPARKS, the 21st century sustainable tourism destinations!

First of all we would like to congratulate our colleagues from Naturtejo, Villuercas Ibores Jara, Basque Coast, Sobrarbe, Central Catalonia, Lanzarote and Las Loras UNESCO Global Geoparks who organized jointly once again the GGN stand in FITUR 2019, contributed to the stand and used the opportunity for their promotion.

The stand was visited by many professionals during the Fair

(23-26 January 2018).

Among the high profile visitors was

  • the General Secretary of Tourism of Portugal Mrs. Ana Mendes Godinho who was welcomed by the President of Naturtejo Geopark Armindo Jacinto and the President of GGN N. Zouros.
  • the General Secretary of Tourism of Greece Mr. Giorgos Tziallas who was welcomed by the President of GGN N. Zouros.
  • the General Secretary of Tourism of Spain Mrs Isabel Oliver met two Spanish delegates and received directly the new book of the Spanish Geoparks.
  • the  President of the Provincial Council of Caceres and President of the Geopark Villuercas Ibores Jara Mrs María del Rosario Cordero Martín
  • The President of the a Provincial Council of Palencia and President of the Geopark  las Loras, Mrs Ángeles Armisén
  • the Presidents of Centro de Portugal and Porto e Norte Regional Tourism Boards from Portugal
  • the Director of the sub commission of UNESCO in Dominican Republic which was the invited country this year in FITUR 2019, who expressed great interest on Geoparks.

The following common promotional material were distributed from the GGN stand during FITUR 2019:

  • The UGG / GGN map
  • The GGN Brochure – 36pages magazine
  • The GGN Newsletter
  • The EGN Magazine

Other Geoparks and aspiring Geoparks were visible through their National and Provincial stands like Azores in the stand of Portugal, Troodos in the stand of Cyprus, as well as some Chinese Geoparks in the Pavilion of China and Mixteca Alta UGGp was represented in the Oaxaca region at the Mexico Pavilion.

 

Opening of the Geoparks Stand

At the opening of the Geoparks Stand which took place the first day of the FITUR 2019, the President of the Global Geoparks Network Prof. N. Zouros presented the Network and its activities to promote UNESCO Global Geoparks as sustainable tourism destinations.

He underlined the positive results of the cooperation among Geoparks for the organization of their common presence in big tourism fairs and the impact of their participation in raising their visibility in the tourism market.

Mr. Zouros thanked the authorities of Naturtejo Geopark and the 12 Spanish Geoparks who were present at the event for their work and contribution to the development of Geoparks which are not only tools for the protection and promotion of the geological heritage but also for the sustainable development in each territory and the improvement of the living conditions of the local population.

 

Spanish Geoparks Promotional Event

The big event of the Spanish Geoparks was hosted this year by the Basque Government and the Basque Coast UNESCO Global Geopark at the pavilion of Basque Country. The event took place on January 23rd and was dedicated to the presentation of the Spanish UNESCO Global Geoparks Booklet!

This new publication refers to the presentation of the UNESCO Global Geoparks in Spain and their Geotourism experiences.

The event was honoured by the presence of Maider  Echeverria García the General Director of Tourism of the Basque Country, Mrs María del Rosario Cordero Martín President of the Deputation of Caceres, Mr Enrique Campo Sanz, President of Comarca of Sobrarbe, Dr. Anchel Garcia Cortes  General Secretary of the Spanish National Committee on UNESCO Global Geoparks, the President of Central Catalonia Geopark, delegations from Naturtejo Geopark in Portugal and  Mixteca Alta Geopark in Mexico and the representatives of all the Spanish Geoparks (Cabo de Gata – Nijar, Subbeticas, Sobrarbe, Basque Coast, Central Catalunya, Villuercas – Ibores – Yara, Sierra Norte De Sevilla, Molina Alto Tajo, Lanzarote, Las Loras and Tremp – Montsec).

During the event three presentations were made:

  • The President of the Basque Coast Geopark Oier Korta who underlined the importance of Geoparks as sustainable tourism destinations.
  • The President of GGN Prof. Nickolas Zouros who presented the contribution in sustainable tourism of the UNESCO Global Geoparks using examples from the Spanish Geoparks
  • The Manager of Basque Coast Geopark, Leire Barriuso, who presented the new Booklet of the Spanish Geoparks.

Presentation of the 15th European Geoparks Conference

An event for the presentation of the 15th European Geoparks Conference which will take place next September, was held at the pavilion of Andalucia.

The General Secretary of the Spanish National Committee on UNESCO Global Geoparks Anchel Garcia Cortes, and the representatives of Naturtejo and all the Spanish Geoparks (Cabo de Gata – Nijar, Subbeticas, Sobrarbe, Basque Coast, Central Catalunya, Villuercas – Ibores – Yara, Sierra Norte De Sevilla, Molina Alto Tajo, Lanzarote, Las Loras and Tremp – Montsec) took part in this event.

During the following presentations were made:

  • The Director of the Sierra Norte de Sevilla Geopark Pedro Mendoza who presented the main figures of the Conference.
  • The President of GGN Prof. Nickolas Zouros who presented the importance of the Conference and the activities of the GGN and the EGN for its promotion.
  • The video of the Conference was released
  • The General Secretary of the Spanish National Committee on UNESCO Global Geoparks Anchel Garcia Cortés, who made closing remarks, wishing for the success of the Conference and supported this event on behalf of the National Committee and the Spanish Geological Survey.

 

Las Loras Presentation in the Geoparks Stand

The president of the Provincial Council of Palencia and the Global Geopark of Las Loras, Ángeles Armisén, presented the Geopark las Loras, a natural, tourist and socio-economic resource that is key to the development of the province of Palencia.

Las Loras geopark achieved recognition by UNESCO in 2017, an endorsement of the effort and work of many years.

Amisén stressed “the solidity of the project and the support of all sectors made it possible to overcome the demanding evaluation that will have to be re-validated in 2021”.

It is therefore a long-term project that emerges from bottom to top, in which administrations such as the Diputación de Palencia help and support an initiative that starts from the territory and is for the territory.

And it is that the territory in which the Geopark is located has a common characteristic to a large part of the interior Spain, sparse and dispersed population.

According to the president, “although it is not the solution to all problems, the Geopark Las Loras emerges as a tool for territorial cohesion, collaboration and cooperation, which goes far beyond rural tourism or nature, and that should lead us to reactivate our socioeconomic fabric and to manage and preserve the immense heritage we have received. ”

2018 has been a year in which projects have been developed for signaling roads and accesses, new pedestrian and cycling routes , such as the successful Calleja route. New informative material and a new guide have been designed and edited.

Work has been done in the training of volunteers, entrepreneurs and workers, as well as environmental education projects for schoolchildren, research and conservation.

On the other hand, visits to the Cueva de los Franceses, managed by the Provincial Council of Palencia, increased by 16% (22,706).

Ángeles Armisén closed her speech with a forecast for this new year at the Geoparque de Las Loras: continue with the projects started and start new ones. “Immediately we are going to start the construction of a car park and a pedestrian path in the main climbing area of the province of Palencia, solving a road safety problem caused by the parking of vehicles on the access road, which also we are going to renew.”

In addition, she added “we have the illusion of hosting the Open Days of the Spanish Geoparks and meeting of the National Forum of Geoparks”

Geopark Presentations

Several other events for the presentation of Geoparks took place during FITUR 2019.

  • Sobrarbe Geopark presentation of natural resources, infrastructure and tourism activities took place in Aragon Pavilion.
  • Naturtejo Geopark presentation of tourist offer and gastronomy took place at the Geopark stand by the President of the Geopark and Mayor of Idanha-a-Nova,  Armindo Jacinto.
  • Villuercas – Ibores – Yara Geopark new publication presentation by the Mrs María del Rosario Cordero Martín President of the Government of Caceres and Jose Maria Barrera, Manager of the Geopark.

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