Last week, Costa Rica received the award for having the best stand in the countries category, during the International Tourism Fair FITUR, held in Madrid, Spain. The country stood out surpassing more than 165 countries in its architectural proposal, design and staging.
This recognition was delivered by the official jury of the organization this Friday at its own stand, located in Hall C, and which was dedicated to the Americas.
The member of the jury and architect of IFEMA, Sofía Alonso, explained that the prize evaluates in addition to the aesthetic elements, the sale of the country brand, functionality, and also, the commitment to sustainability.
Among the points that are evaluated, “it is taken into consideration that the space invites people to enter and provides ample information about the country,” concluded Alonso.
María Amalia Revelo, Minister of Tourism said she felt very proud to obtain the recognition. "We have built it to reflect the colors and flavors of our land with different samples of Costa Rica food, including the sounds and smells of the rainforest, concentrated in an infinite room that recreates our nature," said Mrs. Revelo. The stand permitted the visitors to feel like they were visiting one of the best places in Costa Rica.
Besides, "It has the space and comfort that deserve the thirty private entrepreneurs in the sector who came to close different business at FITUR."
The ICT Marketing section and the company Conex bet on a re-design of the space with the inclusion of five environments, nuanced with light boxes, inspired by the colors of the typical cart and generating contrasting warmth in spaces with large spaces traffic.
The five spaces in which the stand was divided are the cubicle area for the negotiations of the more than 30 participating tourism sector companies, together with the negotiation offices with strategic partners, as well as the “La Pulpería” area decorated with items acquired in the Central Market as “choreadores”, coffee jars, coffee baskets, coffee bags, among others. In that area, our traditional Costa Rican coffee and cotton candy tastings were provided to the hundreds of visitors.
Similarly, the jury's attention focused on the space dedicated to the #stopanimalselfies campaign created to avoid direct contact with the animals, but especially the “Fourth Infinity” which according to the jury allows “teleporting” to the rainforest of Costa Rica for a minute in a sensory experience in which real plants are appreciated, also equipped with mirrors and smells of the forest and its characteristic sounds.
Another outstanding element of the space is the proven sustainability of the creative concept, since all the walls and columns were built with recycled wood. The plants were grown in Limón - the beautiful region of the Caribbean - brought from Costa Rica and selected for the resistance of the leaves, trying to reinterpret in the stand the greenery of the forests.
The designers of the stand used heliconias, bromeliad flowers, fly leaves and coquillo that simulate palm leaves. Screens with promotional videos, images of Costa Rica in large format and spaces for attendees to take photos inspired by the ICT “Only Essentials” campaign complement the space. The winning proposal was developed in 300 square meters.
This is another important recognition for the country, as it allows more people to discover the natural wonders that can be found here. Not only its forests, but also its beautiful beaches and the possibility to spot wildlife in its own habitat: birdwatching, whale watching tours, turtle nesting, and the friendly sloths are some of the possibilities.
Other countries that received the same award in addition to Costa Rica, were Senegal and South Korea.
FITUR is considered one of the fairs of the largest tourism industry in the world, held in Madrid, Spain, and this year was from January 22nd to 26th, in its fortieth edition. Organizational data projected the participation of 260,000 attendees, 165 countries, 918 exhibitors, and more than 11,000 companies.
This year, just as it has happened in other years, Travel Excellence successfully attended the fair, but this January was even more special as we also celebrated the 25th Anniversary of our representative in Spain and Portugal, Hemisur.