2008 Rural Tourism Fair Includes Oaxaca Options Information Exchange

by Ron Mader

OAXACA CITY — Amigos del Sol Language School and Planeta.com host the Oaxaca Options Information Exchange Saturday January 26 from 10am-noon.

The exchange is a feature of the annual Rural Tourism Fair. Access is free. Locals and travelers have access to current brochures and flyers documenting rural travel and tourism services.

The meeting point (punto de encuentro) is Instituto Amigos del Sol, Pino Suárez #802. The info exchang takes place Saturday January 26 from 10am-noon. (poster)

Launched in 2001, the Oaxaca Options series encourages colleagues to share lessons learned in developing tourism that supports natural and cultural diversity. The biggest event of the year is the Rural Tourism Fair.

2008 marks a profound change in the format of the fair. In previous years, exhibitors would provide samples and photos of their products and services in a large patio. This year, the fair has less space, so to make the most of the event, a change was made.

“If we did not have the physical space to conduct the fair as a marketplace or tianguis of ideas, then we decided to expand the event in terms of time,” said co-host Ron Mader of the Planeta.com website. “Focusing on rural tourism, it only made sense to include events in nearby villages. One of the highlights of the fair is the information exchange showing locals and travelers alike their options for responsible travel in Oaxaca using Amigos del Sol as a hub.”

“Amigos del Sol is pleased to host the event,” said Rogelio Ballesteros, director of Instituto Amigos del Sol. “We had to move to a new location, but our commitment to Oaxaca and to visitors remains the same.”

The 2008 Rural Tourism Fair includes a celebration of Aboriginal tourism from Australia and rural tourism and ecotourism in New Zealand. Highlights include a trade show organized by Aboriginal Tourism Australia and Manaki Whenua, Manaki Tangata, Haere whakamua, photos from the West Coast of New Zealand by photographer Tom Walter.