Oaxaca Hosts A Small Festival Among Friends: 2006 Rural Tourism Fair

Mark your calendar — January 28, 2006 is the date for the next Rural Tourism Fair takng place in Oaxaca City, Mexico.

(PRWEB) January 2, 2006 — Mark your calendar! January 28, 2006 is the date for the next Rural Tourism Fair takng place in Oaxaca City, Mexico.

The Rural Tourism Fair is the sixth such regional event co-created by Amigos del Sol and Planeta.com in Oaxaca City, Mexico. We asked Planeta.com founder Ron Mader to talk about the fair and describe what visitors can expect.

What is Rural Tourism? — This alternative to traditional mass tourism allows travelers to visit rural areas. Options include hiking and biking, visiting community museums and buying crafts. Mexico considers rural tourism a critical feature in its promotion of travel alternatives, including adventure travel and ecotourism.

Who Will Attend the Fair? — The 2006 Rural Tourism Fair brings together travelers, local travel providers, media representatives, community leaders and government officials for a few magical hours.

How Much Does It Cost? — Entrance is free! We ask local exhibitors to contribute 100 pesos ($10) to pay for tamales and promotional flyers.

What’s the Focus? — The event showcases the fascinating range of alternatives travelers have in exploring Mexico’s rural countryside around Oaxaca. There will be a gathering of local residents, neighbors from nearby communities and tourists who happen to be visiting the area.

Why a Rural Tourism Fair? — In 2002 the Los Angeles Times published a feature about how 9/11 impacted rural communities whose economies depend on tourism. James Smith and Ken Ellingwood’s article — Sept. 11 Leaves Carpet Loomers Idle in Oaxacan Town — prompted us to think of new ways to raise awareness about rural travel.

Is This a Big Event? — We call this ‘a small festival among friends’ but make no mistake, it is BIG in spirit. This might well be the largest small festival in the world. Join us and see for yourself!

What Can the Visitor Expect? — Visitors to the fair will enjoy direct, personal interaction with local tour operators, community representatives and artesans from the region. It’s an easy way of learning about places to go and how to travel in a responsible manner that respects the environment and the local cultures.

This year’s fair features roundtable discussions focusing on the following topics:

Coffee Tourism — Visits to Fincas and Rural Hikes

Family Travel in Mexico — Where to take kids and elderly parents

Mezcal Tourism — Visiting the mezcaleros

Organic Agriculture — The Hunt for the Greenest Salad in Oaxaca

Who are the Exhibitors? — Exhibitors include a mix of artesans, environmental groups, tour operators and government representatives. Scheduled to participate in the event are Aventura Vertical, Bicletas Pedro Martinez, Ecoturismo TAP and Sherpas Mexicanos. A directory of exhibitors will be distributed at the fair.

Are there Refreshments? — Of course! Our event in Oaxaca always features free tamales and other goodies. This year’s fair features fresh coffee from the Sierra Sur, traditional candies from Etla and the traditional Oaxacan power drink, tejate.

Where Does the Fair Take Place? — The fair is held at Instituto Amigos del Sol, a language school that provides English and Spanish language instruction. Amigos del Sol is located at Libres #109, a few blocks east of the town plaza (z√≥calo) in Oaxaca City.

What is Planeta’s Involvement? — The 2006 Rural Tourism Fair continues Planeta.com’s support of entertaining, educational events in Oaxaca since 2001.

Does this Event have Anything to do with Urban Ecotourism? — Two years ago Planeta.com hosted an online conference about urban ecotourism and there’s no question that cities must do a better job in preparing visitors who are heading to rural areas. Convening the Rural Tourism Fair in Oaxaca City is precisely the type of traveler preparation that can be educational and fun.

What’s Next? — Currently, Planeta.com is developing an ecotourism certificate program with readings in English and Spanish. We are also hosting an online conference linking tourism and migration and participating in several major travel shows in the United States.

ABOUT PLANETA

Planeta.com is an award-winning website that presents articles and discussion about the environment and travel. We strive to be reader- and author-friendly. Professionals will find a number of helpful resources, including our Exploring Ecotourism Resource Guide.

Our Mexican coverage has garnered two ‘best website’ awards from SECTUR, Mexico’s tourism secretariat. Our site received high marks from numerous newspapers and magazines including Men’s Journal (‘top 100 websites for guys’), Student Traveler (‘how Planeta.com helped pioneer online environmental and tourism reporting’) and Outside magazine which termed Planeta.com the ‘Virtual Vanguard.’ High praise, indeed!

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