Fairway, the 4th Forum on the Camino de Santiago, opened its doors this morning to many eager residents and visitors. Santiago’s Congress and Exhibition Hall is once again a landmark venue for the tourist sector linked to the Jacobean Routes.
Precisely the importance of the Camino within the tourist sector, especially during this dual Holy Year, was one of the main points highlighted by the authorities that attended the Fairway’s official opening. This took place at 11.25 am with the presence of the Director of the Galician Tourism Agency, Nava Castro; the Mayor of Santiago, Xosé A. Sánchez Bugallo, and the councillor for Economy and the Treasury of A Coruña Provincial Council, Antonio Leira. They were accompanied by Fairway’s co-directors, Ana Trevisani (Trevisani), Manuel Oreiro (Viajes Viloria) and Tono Mugico (Mr. Turismo).
The representatives of the three institutions supporting this fourth event toured the fair venue, which featured more than 80 exhibiters presenting their tourist products and services in all the autonomous regions through which the different Caminos pass, as well as the north of Portugal. The participation figures surpassed the initial expectations, which demonstrates the sector’s great interests in the fair.
The tour was followed by the event’s official opening, which was presented by Fairway co-director Tono Mugico. The three participating authorities highlighted Fairway’s importance in promoting tourism linked to the Camino de Santiago. They also congratulated the organisation for their resoluteness in organising this fourth event despite all the difficulties. At the same time, they highlighted the fact that the fair features the presence of all the autonomous regions through which the different Camino routes pass, as well as the north of Portugal.
In this regard, Ana Trevisani expressed her satisfaction at establishing a new record in the number of exhibiters attending this fourth event. “This is the recovery Fairway,” indicted the co-director of the event in relation to the reactivation of the tourist sector in general, especially in relation to the Jacobean routes. An event that would not be possible without the support of its main sponsors, namely the Xunta de Galicia, A Coruña Provincial Council and Santiago City Council.
For his part, Manuel Oreiro recalled Megumi Shiozawa, one of the main promoters of the Kumano Kodo, who died in 2020. The Fairway co-director highlighted the work carried out in promoting the Camino de Santiago and the twinning between Galicia and Japan.
All kinds of activities
Hundreds of residents and visitors participated in the leisure options that were organised on the event’s first day for all ages and types of public. For example, at 9.30 am, more than 150 trekkers met in Praza do Obradoiro to participate in the second year of the I Camino Route. Thanks to the guides’ explanations, they discovered the hidden Compostela in the last sections of the Jacobean Routes through the city.
For their part, about 200 people signed up to reveal the mysteries prepared in the escape rooms, and to learn mindfulness techniques in different sessions organised throughout the day. Meanwhile, at midday, the Gastroway section began to fill with visitors interested in tasting the different Camino routes by mean of dishes prepared especially for the occasion.
Music with Carolina Rubirosa and Xabier Díaz
These activities were supplemented with a variety of cultural options. These began with the showcase featuring Carolina Rubirosa, who presented her single O teu cantar. It was featured in the soundtrack of the videos presenting the English Way, promoted by A Coruña Provincial Council.
And the afternoon/evening features the presentation of two books: Fran Contreras’ La Guía Mágica del Camino de Santiago and Sara Escudero’s El CaNino de Santiago. These will be held at 5 pm and 6 pm, respectively. Also in relation to dogs, the APACA organisation’s two presentations during Open Day will promote the adoption of animals found along the different routes.
The day’s finishing touch will be provided by Xabier Díaz, who will give a concert at 7 pm. He will be accompanied on this occasion by Roberto Grandal (accordion) and Iván Costa (hurdy-gurdy). The public has shown great interest in this concert, with close to 400 bookings having been made on the Fairway website.
The Fairway continues on Monday and Tuesday with the professional sections. In addition to debating forums and training sessions, around 2,000 business meetings have been arranged with 40 hosted buyers, who will meet with international tour operators either in person or online. These will be supplemented with presentations of tourist destinations and proposal related to the sector, which will be held on both days in the venue’s Hall A. Furthermore, the fair will continue to be open to the public from 10 am to 2 pm and from 4 to 8 pm.
The event’s hybrid nature will also enable its different Academy and Congress sessions to be streamed. To that end, you just have to access the Fairway website to find the specific section devoted to streaming.
Tomorrow’s Congress and Academy programme
The training and reflection programme will begin tomorrow with the opening conference on Tourism and Sustainability by Nava Castro, Director of the Galician Tourism Agency; Xosé Regueira, Vice-president of A Coruña Provincial Council, and Gumersindo Guinarte, Santiago City Council’s councillor for the Mayor’s Office, Institutional Relations and Tourism, and delegate for the 2021-2022 Holy Year.
This will be followed by the Congress and Academy activities, which will be held simultaneously in the venue’s Sala Compostela and Sala Camiño, respectively. In the first case, in the morning there will be a workshop on Social Ads by Clara Soler, an expert on Social Ads for the tourist sector (11.30 am); a round table on experienced-based Branding (1 pm) coordinated by Laura Rampérez, CEO of Inturea, with the participation of Guillermo Rodríguez, Social Media Manager in the Hotel Palladium Group; Johnny Sfeir, CEO of Customer Experience Academy and JSK Mind; Amparo García, the person in charge of the Digitalising Happiness project, by Vivood Landscapes and Zeus, and Laura Arias, Director of Accommodation, CX & Qualitity for “Paradores” Hotels. The afternoon will feature a creative workshop on tourist Copywriter by the tourist copywriter Joan Marco. The Academy’s first day will conclude with a round table on Marketing Automation coordinated by Andrés Romero, CEO of Asiri Marketing, with the participation of Enrique Lite, Director of the Inbound Moio agency; Manuel Lara, Costa del Sol’s Marketing Tourism Director; Augusto Martín, Chief Revenue Officer at Connectif, and Alberto Portolés, founding partner and Director of Numéricco.
For its part, the Congress section will begin at 11.30 am with the debating table Reactivating the Camino de Santiago, which will include a presentation by Melchor Fernández, coordinator of the GAME-IDEGA research group, on the Socioeconomic Impact of the Camino de Santiago. The debating table, moderated by Ignacio Capeáns, Director of Onda Cero Galicia, will feature the presence of Idelfonso de la Campa, Director of S.A. de Xestión do Xacobeo; Luís Pedro Martins, President of Porto Tourism; Ana Laura Iglesias, Pontevedra Provincial Council’s councillor for Tourism; Manuel Mirás, President of the Association of Municipalities of the English Camino; Manuel Ángel Leis, Vice-president of the Association of Municipalities of the Fisterra-Muxía Camino; Olga Iglesias, Mayoress of Triacastela and representative of France’s A.M.C.S., and Flavia Ramil, Managing Director of Turismo de Santiago.
There will be two conferences in the afternoon/evening. The first (at 4 pm) will be centred on Sustainable Experiences Along the Camino. It will be moderated by Rafael Cid, Director of RTVE in Galicia, with the participation of Pilar Taboada-de-Zúñiga R., Managing Director of the USC International Courses; Pepe Formoso, a businessman linked to the Camino; Charo Calvo, Product Manager of El Camino con Correos, and Mar Rodríguez, Director of Tee Travel.
The next conference (at 5.30 pm) will discuss New Technologies on the Camino de Santiago, featuring the presence of Jorge Barreiro, the person in charge of Galician Tourism’s Innovation Area; Carolina Casado, Manager of Badajoz Provincial Council’s Tourist Promotion Office; Lara Castelo, CFO and cofounder of Pilgrim; Miguel A. Rodríguez, President of AGALBER; Xurxo Cegarra, founding partner of Wireless Galicia; Sole Felloza, author and creator of the first Camino de Santiago podcast.