• Vega Baja was well represented at the year’s first major tourism fair

The first major tourism fair of the year took place in Madrid last week, the 43rd edition of FITUR, held at the IFEMA, where dozens of politicians, representing many of our local municipalities, spent the last few days, along with a substantial sum from our hard earned taxes.

Torrevieja and Orihuela both sent sizeable delegations to the fair, while Guardamar, San Miguel de Salinas, Pilar de la Horadada, San Fulgencio and a number of other smaller municipalities were much more thrifty with their council expenditure.

By far the largest delegation was sent from Torrevieja, with the mayor and many of his councillors accompanied by a number of municipal staff, along with dozens of young ladies who were there to demonstrate the advantages of the city as an appealing carnival destination.

The mayor watching on as the Torrevieja Councillor for Sport, Diana Box, discusses many of the city’s sporting events

There were also chefs on hand to exhibit some of our wonderful local gastronomy as well as a number of sports personalities who were in attendance to explain the many benefits of sports tourism in and around the area.

The event got underway on Wednesday when Torrevieja presented the best of it’s annual carnival as more than 100 singers, musicians and dancers, all members of seven of the main comparsas (groups of dancers) from the city, paraded along Calle Preciados to the Puerta del Sol, and into the adjacent pedestrian area in​​the capital.

The objective of “this impressive parade was to promote the city and it’s local carnival, declared of Regional Tourist Interest, and one of the largest and most popular festivals in the city of salt, in which 23 comparsas currently take part with more than 1,500 people parading.”

Back in the main exhibition centre the mayor and his team went on to present details of the festivities that focus on December in Torrevieja. Through a video entitled “Once upon a time in December”, the presentation showed the more than 50 days that the salt city celebrates its patron saint festivities and the Christmas program.

As well as the gastronomy, featuring showcooking of gazpacho marinero and rice with anchovies, there was also the Hospitality Calendar 2023, presented by the Department of Tourism, Commerce and Hospitality.

The Department of Sports was on hand to show off it’s Sports Agenda, made up of more than thirty events of various disciplines, national and international, as well as the training camps that are part of tourism sports centre in which the city has been working in recent years. The presentation ceremony was attended by the president of the Spanish Swimming Federation, Fernando Carpena.

Sport was also an important feature of the Orihuela presentation in which the mayor and the councillor, Luis Quesada, from the Department of Sports, spoke of how “sport is revitalising the city, its tourism and economy.”

Along with Diana Box, vice president of the Royal Spanish Handball Federation, the party unveiled the 1000 Playas de Orihuela Beach Handball Championship, which the Orihuela Costa will be hosting for a fifth consecutive year on La Zenia beach, bringing into the area dozens of teams from all over the country, along with many hundreds of competitors during the early summer.

The councillor said, “”this is great news for our city and for the practice of sport, through dynamic events such as this, which is good for the territory, our municipality and our region.”

Orihuela’s Holy Week was another major attractio

Orihuela’s Holy Week was another major attraction that received exposure at the fair. “You won’t find anything like it anywhere, it’s that simple.” said the president of the Cofradía de la Santa Cena, Juan Carlos Sevilla, as he held up the the poster for Holy Week along with mayoress, Carolina, Gracia. The event was also attended by municipal representatives, the Junta Mayor, as well as cofradías, brotherhoods and stewards.

Gracia said that. “there is nothing quite like Holy Week which is one of the oldest in Spain and whose origins date back to the 16th century, and of which we can say, without a doubt, it is unique and spectacular”.

“Holy Week in Orihuela is a celebration that offers the visitor an infinite number of attractions: religious fervour, devotion and art. And all this through its impressive imagery. Believe me when I tell you that whoever comes to Orihuela during these days always has a unique experience, because Holy Week is like no other, thanks to the grandeur of its processions, and also because of its peculiarities that differentiate it from all others”.