Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Fitur - Because We Need More Tourists.

The huge Madrid tour fair FITUR is held next week – starting on Wednesday and running through Sunday 21st.  This massive event, under the light of over eighty million foreign visitors to Spain in 2017 together with any number of Spanish holidaymakers (Catalonia, disappointingly bucking the trend following the political upheaval there), will be a temporary home to an expected 10,000 exhibitors, as 2017’s figures were ‘...9,893 exhibiting companies from 165 countries/regions, 135,858 trade participants and 107,213 people from the general public. A video from LaSexta says that there were – in the first eleven months of 2017 – 18 million Britons, 11.4 million Germans and 10.7 million French visitors (no wonder they forget about us foreign residents). Does Spain (with a population of 46 million souls) need more tourists – or merely more income from tourism? 

Meanwhile, Mojácar is going to be there as it is every year.  I've been a couple of times in years gone by - when the politics of our town allowed - and it's a massive show indeed. Countries with exhibitions, dancers and free drinks (try Peru for its Pisco Sours if you have the chance). Flamenco guitarists and people with whistles, didgeridoos and nose-flutes. All very jolly. Even Gibraltar has a small and slightly embarrassed presence there. Mojácar for a while had its own stand, which cost a fortune, but - gracious - look at our tourist figures today! We must keep those souvenir shops a-trembling. 
One of our best ideas was to give Indalos de Oro - Golden Indalos - to those who have done much to bring tourism to our fair town. These have, naturally, gone mainly to Spanish entrepreneurs or (in the current trend) to Belgian cyclists, Bless 'em. Indeed, some of our galardonados have been useful to our tourism, others less so. We remember the man who owns and closed the Moresco hotel in the pueblo Arturo Fernández as one, the PP politician Rafael Hernando as another. Singer Miguel Ríos (a regular visitor) as another.
After a prolonged campaign on Facebook - the Tourist Department even relented and gave one to Bob Jones - a local British resident who sent many beautiful pictures of our town over the years to the weather forecast on the national TV, who in turn featured them in their program.  
Last year, they faltered slightly and gave the two prizes to the children of Jacinto Alarcón (the mayor who revitalised Mojácar in the sixties). This year - no one, so far, is saying.

Later: On Wednesday, the first day of FITUR, the Tourist Office relented and produced this notice:  '...This year, having reached in the last edition of FITUR the 25th anniversary of Los Indalos de Oro de Mojácar, the delivery of the traditional Golden Indalos is transferred to the municipality itself, celebrating a feast of the Indalos de Oro that will take place in the town, on a date yet to be specified.
The aim of this initiative is to ensure that all residents and neighbours can enjoy an important event for the locality, while at the same time making it easier for relatives and friends of the prizewinners to share such a special moment..
.'. Stupid, or what?

So, the whole Indalo de Oro thing has been washed up through a complete lack of imagination.

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