In the year in which the 25th anniversary of the declaration of the Pilgrim’s Way to Santiago as a World Heritage Site is celebrated, the Xacobean Route also had to have a presence in Fitur, where the new products that allow pilgrims in wheelchairs to live the Pilgrims’ Way to Santiago were presented. Under the name Discover your own Way, Turismo de Galicia and Xacobeo presented tourist packages designed to facilitate the pilgrimage through the use of electric and hybrid handbikes that can be hired in different stages of the French Way between Galicia and León. This initiative is the result of the European project Universal Knowledge in which the Xunta participates and which is developed in the main itinerary xacobeo and in the way of St. Benedict of Italy. In total, five packages were made available for the visually impaired, reduced mobility and senior citizens.
In the Xunta de Galicia we want the Pilgrim’s Way to be an inclusive experience. That’s why we approved last year the Plan for tourist accessibility and the Camino, declared Nava Castro. In this regard, he stressed that the toilets and dormitories of the public network of hostels of the Xacobeo were adapted. In addition, of particular note are the cases of Melide and Ribadiso (Arzúa), in which universal accessibility projects were completed.
Rafael Sánchez, manager of Xacobeo; Emilio López, director of the National Centre for Geographic Information (IGN), and Juan Serrano, president of the Association of Galician City Councils of the French Way. López presented the Map of the Roads of Santiago in Europe, made in collaboration with the Federation of Friends of the Road Associations, represented at this event by its president, Luis Gutiérrez. This map shows more than 80,000 kilometres marked as a xacobean route in 28 European countries. For his part, Juan Serrano exhibited El Camino de los sentidos, which brings together the gastronomic offer of the municipalities that make up this itinerary xacobeo.
Precisely, the presentations have as their context the 25th anniversary of the declaration of the French Way as a World Heritage Site, the first of the three Xacobean itineraries that received this recognition from Unesco. It was in 1993, a distinction that the Primitive Way and the Northern Way would follow in 2015. The celebration of this quarter-century coincides with the European Year of Cultural Heritage, an event that Galicia will use to further boost cultural tourism and the sustainable use of its many resources.
In addition, in collaboration with the regions that make up the Macroregion of Southwest European Regions RESOE (Galicia, Asturias, Castilla y León, Cantabria and North and Central Portugal), the Xunta de Galicia is working on a new product that has as its guiding thread the Way and the numerous World Heritage Sites existing in this vast territory of Spain and Portugal.
Twinning with the Kumano Kodo
Fitur was also the stage for the Pilgrim’s Way to Santiago and the Kumano Kodo Road in Japan to add a new chapter to their history of collaboration with the opening at Fitur of the commemoration of their 20 years of friendship. The two pilgrimage routes, two of the most important in the world and protected by Unesco, were twinned in 1998, starting an intense relationship that helped to increase the links between the Japanese country and Galicia.
The directors of Tourism of Galicia and the prefecture of Wakayama, Nava Castro and Nobuko Goto, met in the exhibitor of the Galician Community to highlight the common values that both pilgrimage paths share despite having arisen in territories thousands of miles away and with a different religious roots. The Camino de Santiago and the Kumano Kodo are part of very different cultures, but the substratum they share has been revived throughout these two decades since their declaration of friendship,”said the head of Tourism Galician Government.
Pilgrims from the North
Precisely as a result of the cooperation, the Pilgrims to the North project was born, from hotel to hotel, a private initiative of which the Hotel Industry Association Compostela, the Association of Corunna and the Association of Businessmen of Lugo with the aim of offering a selection of hotels specializing in pilgrims who are carrying out the Pilgrims’ Way to Santiago de Compostela.
The presentation of the project took place at the Asturias stand, under the impulse of Otea, the Hotel and Tourism Association of Asturias, where the incorporation was signed of the provinces of Vizcaya and Guipúzcoa, in the Basque Country; and of Lugo, A Coruña and Santiago de Compostela, on the part of Galicia, and the renovation of Cantabria, through their respective provinces.
hotel and tourism associations. The project seeks to ensure that each pilgrim has an adequate reference of accommodation establishments that have a differentiated and adapted service to your needs.