Representatives of the most important cultural, ecological and pilgrimage routes from all over the world will participate in the 7th edition of the World Trails Conference next September in Santiago de Compostela. This is the international congress organised every two years by the World Trails Network, which is being held for the first time in Europe and which will further develop the cultural and economic contribution that these itineraries make to the different tourist destinations, protected areas and rural areas they cross.
This meeting will also promote synergies between the different itineraries of the world and will become “a great opportunity to advance and share impressions on the development and preservation of the Camino de Santiago, which is increasingly positioned as an international reference in its management model,” according to Tourism of Galicia. In fact, the positioning of the meeting along the Xacobean Route will be the focus of several of the presentations at the meeting, which will be held between 26 and 29 September and whose registration is already open.
World itineraries from South Africa to Japan
In addition to the Pilgrim’s Way to Santiago, there is already a confirmed presence of representatives of itineraries from more than 28 countries from the five continents, including the Kumano Kodo roads – World Heritage and twinned on the Pilgrim’s Way to Santiago for 20 years – and also the Shikoku Henro Way, with which Galicia also maintains strong partnerships. There will also be representatives from the Jeju Mire Roads in South Korea and the Great Himalayas Trails, the world’s widest and tallest route in Nepal.
There will also be participation from the long-distance cultural routes that are present in Taiwan, as well as route and trail managers from Greece or Ireland and from South Africa, with representatives from the Rim of Africa Trail, the country’s longest mountain trail. Next to them, there will be a representation from South America, with routes from Costa Rica or Panama. There will also be congressmen from Canada to talk about the Bruce Trail, the oldest and longest signposted route in Canada, which allows visitors to visit the Niagara Waterfall, a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve and which will present their experience in developing a sustainable activity in that territory.
Three’Journeys on the Road’.
The congress will include various reports and round tables to deepen, among other issues, the link between itineraries and nature protection, the economic benefits of the routes for rural economies, the preservation of the cultural heritage and spiritual values of the Xacobean routes, as well as the importance of sustainable growth on each of these cultural, ecological and pilgrimage routes in the world.
The congress will be preceded by three tours through the last stages of three Xacobean itineraries in Galicia. These are Journeys on the Way, in which the delegates will be able to join a nine-day pilgrimage on the French Way, a five-day pilgrimage on the English Way and a 10-day pilgrimage on the Portuguese Way. The three pilgrimages will arrive in Santiago de Compostela as a prologue to the inauguration.
The World Trails Conference is an activity open to the general public. The registration period is open on the specially enabled website.