Sun&Blue Congress inaugurates its first edition - Sun&Blue Congress


Sun&Blue Congress inaugurates its first edition

Sun&Blue Congress inaugurates its first edition

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During the first day, thirteen round tables, two presentations and a plenary session were held.

Published 6 months ago

Sun&Blue Congress, the most important congress of Tourism and Blue Economy in Europe has inaugurated this Wednesday its first edition, which will last until Friday at noon, at the Exhibition and Congress Palace 'Cabo de Gata - City of Almeria'. Promoted by beon. Worldwide, the first day of celebration has focused its agenda on the opening ceremony; a plenary session with Theresa Zabell, two-time Olympic sailing champion and president of Ecomar Foundation; and two presentations in which the tourist of the future and the success story Macenas Mediterranean Resort have been exposed. As for round table discussions, a total of thirteen discussion panels were held on topics such as artificial intelligence and technologies that revolutionize tourism; events with the sea as the protagonist; clusters as drivers of tourism in coastal regions; discovering the flavors of blue tourism; quality certifications as tools for competitiveness; port vs. city integration; integration of beaches in urban centers through sustainability criteria; training of blue tourism leaders; blue tourism in the framework of the Andalusian Strategy for a Sustainable Blue Economy; new tourist purchasing trends; marketing strategies; accessibility in tourist infrastructures and natural resources; and safety as a differentiating and innovative factor in tourism. 

On the first day of the congress there were 890 people registered with the participation of 169 speakers, 22 exhibitors and the collaboration of 25 associations of the sector.

During the opening ceremony, the need to change the current model of sun and beach tourism has been claimed, betting on a more sustainable and conscious tourism, the main driver of the blue economy and currently already demanded by tourists and climate change.In addition to making visible how important the blue tourism sector is for the economy both nationally and in Andalusia.Likewise, it has been advocated to make Andalusia and Almeria referents in this type of tourism.

In Andalusia, as María del Mar Vázquez, Mayoress of Almería, said, the blue economy already represents 10.5% of the GDP with a generation of more than 300,000 jobs and, specifically, she referred to Almería stating that "we have all the qualities to become through this congress a reference of blue economy and tourism at European level". Vázquez is confident that in Sun&Blue Congress will arise opportunities for Almeria to confirm its position at European level as a coastal tourism destination.

Mª del Mar Plaza, general secretary of the Ministry of Sustainability, Environment and Blue Economy of the Junta de Andalucía, has valued the celebration of Sun&Blue Congress as an annual event that brings together "the best experts" in a "privileged" environment such as Cabo de Gata (Almería) and where "we come to talk about tourism and sustainability, blue economy and to promote all sectors that live with the sea, but from a respectful point of view with the environment".

Sun&Blue Congress is the first congress that addresses at European level tourism and the blue economy and as stated Javier Aureliano Garcia, president of Diputación de Almería, "we are especially proud" because "Almeria is going to champion worldwide this perfect binomial formed by sustainability and tourism".

For Yolanda de Aguilar, general secretary of Tourism of the Junta de Andalucía, the blue color of tourism "is a unique opportunity" and said that blue tourism "helps us to deseasonalize, to rebalance the territory, to propose the best models of tourism sustainability and to ensure that tourists visiting Andalusia feel the Andalusian Crush".

"Without sea there is no life", Theresa Zabell 

Theresa Zabell is the ambassador of the first edition of Sun&Blue Congress. Former professional sailor with two Olympic gold medals (Barcelona 92 and Atlanta 96), five World and three European championships, as well as countless Spanish championships and the title of best sailor in the world by the International Sailing Federation. After retiring from competition, he decided to commit himself to the sea to give back part of what it had given him and thus was born the Ecomar Foundation to which he dedicates himself body and soul. His motto: "Take care of the only two places you will never be able to move from, your body and your planet", and this is what he conveyed to the congress participants during the plenary session 'And you, do you watch or help? According to the data provided, the oceans cover more than 70% of the Earth's surface and are "essential" to ensure life on the planet. They regulate the climate, are home to 200,000 identified species, provide resources and, above all, oxygen, the element we need most for our survival. "Our seas and oceans release more oxygen than all the world's forests combined and it is the largest carbon sink on the planet". Zabell also claimed that "without the sea there is no life" and that it is currently facing "major threats" such as rising temperatures, overfishing, loss of biodiversity and pollution. "Currently 400 dead zones have been identified around the planet, areas with very low oxygen levels where no life of any kind is possible." Another major threat is microplastics; every year 8 million tons of plastic end up in the oceans. If we do nothing, "in 2050 the weight of plastics in the oceans will be greater than that of fish". Theresa Zabell ended her speech with a series of tips that each of us can do in our daily lives to conserve the seas and oceans.