Fairway has opened its doors to the most complete and international event, with the Economy Circular as the main theme of its extensive programme of activities. The Palacio de Congresos y Exposiciones de Galicia hosts a fair featuring more than 80 exhibiters representing the different Camino routes and practically all of Spain’s autonomous regions, as well as foreign destinations (Portugal, Malta, or Japón, among others).
The event’s official opening took place this morning, chaired by the mayoress of Santiago, Goretti Sanmartín; the director of the Galician Tourism Agency, Xosé Manuel Merelles, and A Coruña Provincial Council’s Camino representative, Antonio Leira. Fairway’s co-directors, Ana García (Trevisani), Manuel Oreiro (Viajes Viloria) and Tono Mugico (Mr Turismo Marketing en Acción) accompanied the authorities in a tour around the event’s more than 2,000 m2 of exhibition space before the event was opened.
Compostela’s mayoress highlighted the importance of the Camino routes as a great attraction bringing many visitors to the city. However, Sanmartín reminded the audience of the need for “promoting responsible tourism,” both during the pilgrimage and on arrival in Compostela.
The director of the Galician Tourism Agency highlighted the importance of the Camino routes as important elements in promoting the region’s attractions. Moreover, he indicated that Fairway will be a good opportunity for “debating and advancing in the sustainable management of the Camino de Santiago.” In his presentation at the event, Merelles underlined that sustainability is one of the objectives established by the Xunta de Galicia. “We are dealing with a Camino route that is becoming more and more diversified and less and less seasonal, as well as pilgrimage tendencies that all administrations have to take into account,” he ensured.
Finally, Antonio Leira pointed out that Fairway is a “consolidated event” in the Camino de Santiago sector, which highlights “the economic impact that it has on the localities that the different Camino routes pass through.”
Under the theme Make Your Way Circular, Fairway would like to highlight “the importance of developing sustainable tourism that is environmentally friendly,” indicated Ana Trevisani, co-director of the event. Moreover, he reminded the audience that this fifth event has consolidated Fairway as a landmark forum for companies related to the Camino routes, “with records of participation as regards the fair, with more than 80 exhibiters, and the event’s activities, which include a Job Market this year. This was a something the sector had been requesting for some time and that has finally come about. Today, close to 200 in-person job and career guidance interviews will be held,” he added.
In relation to the Workshop, Manuel Oreiro highlighted the importance of “40 tour operators from 16 countries. Between Thursday and Friday, we will surpass 4,100 business meetings, which is Fairway record of participation.” The event is therefore also a space in which companies linked to the Camino can broaden their horizons.
All this business activity will be accompanied by an extensive programme of free training and leisure programmes. In this regard, Tono Mugico declared that “part of Fairway’s DNA is being a debating forum concerning matters of interest to the sector. That is why we have a Congress section that will discuss, among other matters, coexistence between residents and tourists, the tourist tax, or the management of health and safety along the Camino.”
In addition, Fairway provides “quality training for the sector’s companies by means of the Academy section. We have renowned professionals from the field of digital marketing, who will explain the main artificial intelligence tools and teach us how to apply in everyday activities so that businesses can make the most of them. There will likewise be a round table featuring examples of businesses and projects based on the Circular Economy,” he concluded.
Job Market and activities for all ages in Open Day
The opening day of Fairway, the 5th Forum of the Camino de Santiago also features, in addition to the fair, a Job Market, in collaboration with the Estela Foundation, and leisure options for all the family as part of the Open Day.
In the first case, a total of 182 in-person interviews will be held: 69 in-person job interviews with the Job Market’s registered companies and another 37 organised by means of the Estela Foundation; 43 career guidance interviews, and 33 self-employment ones. The Job Market includes several round tables featuring themes such as being an entrepreneur in relation to the Camino, staff selection, or the Xunta de Galicia’s “Retorna” Programme. There will also be a workshop on learning how to handle a job interview.
The Open Day, for its part, started this morning with another “I Camino” Route, followed by several Escape Room sessions in the Pazo de Congresos y Exposiciones. Gastroway is also back again featured typical tapas from different regions that the Camino routes pass through, which will be combined with a free tasting of Lestedo “filloas” (Galician crepes), provided by the “Filloa” Cultural Association (Lestedo-Boqueixón), one of this year’s new initiatives. Another new Open Day is the exhibition of goldwork and silverwork by artisans belonging to the “Orfebres de Compostela” association, who will surprise the public with their skill.
Today’s main features are the show starring Quico Cadaval y Sole Felloza that is entitled Peregrinas do Além. Instruccións para volver a la casa quando xa morreches, and the concert by the Xabier Díaz Trio, which will bring this festive day of activities for all ages to an end. Admission free until full.
Workshop, Congress, Academy, and presentations
The Fairway programme will continue tomorrow and the day after with business meetings planned in relation to the Workshop. There will also be a dozen workshops, debating forums, and round tables in the Academy and Congress sections, combined with presentations of destinations and projects.
For more information about the programme, see www.fairwaysantiago.com.