Tourist experience in Depopulated Areas

FiturNext Challenge: How Tourism Can Breathe Life into Depopulated Areas

FiturNext, FITUR’s Observatory committed to sustainable tourism practices, has wrapped up its call for the 2024 Challenge. This year’s theme revolves around the potential of tourism to rejuvenate territories.

From the 300 initiatives reviewed by the Observatory, nine have been shortlisted as finalists. The top three will be unveiled between 24 and 27 January at the Madrid International Tourism Trade Fair (FITUR).

The Challenge has identified three pivotal areas where tourism can play a transformative role:

  1. Management and Promotion of Depopulated Territories: The goal is to reintroduce underpopulated areas to potential visitors. By highlighting the unique resources and attractions of these regions, the hope is to draw interest and curb depopulation.
  2. Importance of Connections: Effective communication, be it through transport, infrastructure, or telecommunications, is crucial for territorial development. A robust network can bridge the gap between local communities and essential services, potentially halting or even reversing depopulation trends.
  3. Tourist Experiences: Most visits to dwindling territories are in rural settings. The intimate experiences of local traditions and cultures, facilitated by the closeness of the local population, offer a unique appeal.

This marks the fifth edition of the Observatory, which has garnered significant acclaim in the realm of responsible and sustainable tourism. Over its tenure, FiturNext has scrutinised approximately 1,300 initiatives that champion sustainable practices and contribute to a more eco-friendly and community-centric industry.

The Observatory has also hosted a series of webinars on regenerative tourism, featuring industry experts discussing topics like gender inclusion, accessibility, and natural environment regeneration. In anticipation of World Tourism Day on 27 September, the Ideas For Change team, who coordinate FITUR NEXT, will conduct an online session, reinforcing the theme of tourism as a catalyst for positive transformation.

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