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FEBRERO 2002
4. My Experience
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MY EXPERIENCE,
by Karsten

Subjet: FITUR 2002 and FEN AGM

We were represented on three stands on FITUR, the international travel exhibition in Madrid, which is a trade fair for the first three days and open to the public on the last two.

According to the official catalogue Costa Natura was co-exhibiting with the Andalucian Tourist Board but t person who gave me my exhibitor's pass came from the Madrid Naturist Association, to whom we had paid fee to participate on their stand, wich was quite as well because the Costa Natura brochures left at Estepona stand and the Costa del Sol beach stand in very impressive Andalucian hall were largely left untouched.

But not so at the Naturist Association's stand. Visitors either came because they wanted to visit the naturist stand, or they stumbled on it. It was interesting to see how the organizers had adopted a refreshingly light-hearted approach to a serious topic. A party of men and women were passing the stand when one of the women noticed the body-painting naked young lady on the stand and exclaimed loudly and excitedly to the rest of the party, 'but she is real', and Mick Ayers, chairman of British Naturism, comented that they could not have done that in England. It went to prove that the nudity in itself need not upset anybody and the attitudes in our own countries may be irrelevant in Spain, which may be as well. The organizers also employed another effective gimmick. There was an endless supply of balloons with the message, 'I am a naturism' (actually it was cleverer still because it said 'Yo Naturismo.org' including the Internet address). A free ball-point pen with the same message was attached to the strings of the bollons as an anchor and noticed three young ladies in national costumes, advertising some country's stand or other, taking a balloon each and saw them an hour later in another hall, still carrying each their balloon saying "I am a naturist". Brilliant idea!

On 2.2.2002 I was invited along to lunch by Federación Española de Naturismo and their AGM. One of the issues was the INF's intention only to include naturist sites in international guide which support the national and international naturist associations directly.

On the surface it may seem reasonable but I wonder if it may not result in the guide becoming less than definitive to disadvantage of the members it is supposed to be of assistance to, and could lead to more than one guide being published, which in the end will be more costly for everybody and help nobody. There is a little doubt in my mind that the resorts and the national and international associations can support each other. Without the associations it would be more difficult, but not impossible, to reach our target audience but what the associations seen to forget is that many visitors to the resorts are not naturist, except for their annual holiday, and that a pleasant experience at a resort may well lead to participation in naturist swims, the use of naturist beaches and eventually membership of the national association. In Costa Natura's case there will be no problem because we support the naturist associations anyway but we could easily, and perhaps we should, suggest to our holidaymakers that there may be naturist activities in their own countries which they might enjoy.

Karsten

 

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