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Opening of the XXIV International Congress on Tourism
Conferences FUE-UJI

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6 - Oct - 2021

Tourism sector after the COVID19 pandemic

The XXIV edition of the International University - Business Tourism Congress has today kicked off two days of debate on the future of the tourism sector after the pandemic.

Under the title "TOURISM WITH A CAPITAL R: Reconstructing, Reactivating and Redirecting the tourism sector towards a new time", the meeting was inaugurated at the Universitat Jaume I by its rector, Eva Alcón; José Pascual Martí, president of the Diputació Provincial de Castelló (Provincial Council); Francesc Colomer, Regional Secretary for Tourism of the Generalitat Valenciana; Carlos Cabrera, executive president of the Fundación Universitat Jaume I-Empresa and Rafael Lapiedra, director of the Congress.

More than 150 attendees follow in face-to-face format and in streaming the interventions of about 30 speakers, professionals from the tourism sector and academics.

The rector of the Universitat Jaume I, Eva Alcón, stated that faced with the challenge of how to reactivate tourism after the pandemic, “the University wants to be by the side of the sector at a crucial moment in which the foundations of a new tourism model, based on changes in consumer behavior and phenomena such as digital transformation ”. According to her, she explained in her intervention, “one of the ways that the UJI has to support tourist destinations and companies in the sector is to organize forums for debate and reflection such as this international congress. A consolidated event that brings together the academic world, administrations and companies to address the keys to the reactivation of tourism and explore new business models ”.

For his part, Francesc Colomer, referred to the fact that “tourism is not only an economic sector, it is also a look that focuses on our best version, on the best of our identity, our culture, traditions, hospitality ... elements that reinforce other sectors ”. And he added "it is time to reflect on our scale of values ​​and to learn to value the meaning of traveling, discovering, sharing." Colomer has been in charge of opening the work sessions with the opening presentation entitled "Reactivation and Recovery of the Tourism Sector of the Valencian Community".

José Martí alluded to the effort of the Provincial Council: «reactivating, rebuilding the province after the pandemic is what we have in mind at the Provincial Council. We have done it through dialogue and collaboration with other institutions; it is vital for public administrations to be able to obtain feedback from the sector, and in this sense, I believe that there is no better example of connection than the one that exists between the Valencian public administration and the tourism sector”.

In his speech Rafael Lapiedra, professor of the Department of Business Administration and Marketing of the UJI, and director of the Congress, has indicated “we have a very important mission: to turn this meeting into a forum for joint reactivation after the setback caused by the crisis of the coronavirus ”. And he has advocated "the need to consider tourism as a basic service, as a decisive factor in mental health."

After the opening conference, a panel of specialists, led by Virginia Ochoa, manager of the Provincial Tourism Board, addressed the tourist accommodation strategy in the different types of destinations, together with the experts Miguel Sánchez, from MIRAI; Sara Sánchez, from Rusticae; Ricardo López, from the NH Valencia Center; and Miguel Albalat, from Intur Hotels.

A lecture by Xavier Font, from the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of Surrey, closed the morning session. In the afternoon, different papers will be presented simultaneously in the rooms of the Congress headquarters.

The leisure activities program includes a tourist visit to the town of Fanzara and its MIAU, the Unfinished Museum of Urban Art.

This meeting is an initiative of the Universitat Jaume I  that has the sponsorship of the Castelló Provincial Tourism Board and the collaboration of the Generalitat Valenciana, through the Agència Valenciana de Turisme. It is an event that, since its inception, in 1997, has been led by the Fundación Universitat Jaume I-Empresa from the Organizing Committee.

More information: www.fue.uji.es/turismo

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