Between 24-27 October, Venezuela’s International Tourism Fair (Fitven) was held in the Andean city of Merida. The fair is aimed at promoting Venezuela as an international tourism destination, and this year was expected by the government to bring in around US$15 million in revenue.
“It’s a great showcase, a great platform for encountering and projecting Venezuelan tourism,” Tourism Minister Andres Izarra told state media.
According to organisers, 90 Venezuelan and 26 international tourism operators participated in this year’s fair, drawing just under 60,000 visitors.
“This is the largest increase in visitors to Fitven,” Izarra tweeted. According to the minister, this year’s fair drew around 58% more visitors than last year.
However, some volunteer workers at the event told VA that while the turnout of domestic operators lived up to expectations, the international pavilion didn’t draw as many businesses as expected.
Of the operators that did participate, most appeared to be businesses promoting conventional tourism; and VA only ran into a handful of community organisations.
However, there was no shortage of Venezuelan produce waiting to be sampled, ranging from craft beer to crunchy Amazon ants. Local performers entertained the crowds, with Venezuela’s iconic dancing devils even making an appearance.
The fair was wrapped up on Sunday night with a concert featuring the Venezuelan Symphony Orchestra.