Press Releases


The Cathedral, ´an example of tourism know-how´

26/01/2005 The tour operators participating in the International Tourism Fair, Fitur 2005, highlight the "informative nature" of the guided visits.

2005/01/26 The restoration project of the Santa María Cathedral has earned the recognition of tour operators and professionals from all over the world on the opening day of the Madrid International Tourism Fair, Fitur 2005. The Santa María Cathedral Foundation has taken part in this important event for the fifth consecutive year, where Vitoria-Gasteiz and Alava have been consolidated as a reference for quality tourism.

Experts in tourism value the experience and the effects of opening to the public the restoration of a monument which has been visited by 350,000 visitors in five years. However, this edition of Fitur highlights the way in which the open restoration of the Santa María Cathedral contributes to knowledge and education within a new conception of tourism which is not only directed at leisure but also at learning.

The proposal made by the Old Cathedral fits into the contents of Fitur Know-How, one of the four sections in which the Madrid International Tourism Fair is divided this year, where Fitur Active, Congresses and Residential are the other three. Among the Fair´s basic points is socio-cultural sustainability, which is aimed at promoting the knowledge of actions that are being carried out in the restoration and conservation of our heritage.

In this sense, the restoration of Santa María Cathedral is approached as an integral project which brings together the quality and rigor of the architectonical and archaeological interventions with the primordial objective of restoring the function that cathedral temples have had since their origins as areas of culture, education, knowledge, exchange of ideas, tourist attraction, etc.

Contribution to Knowledge
Experts in tourism are "amazed" by the way in which it has been possible to open to the public the restoration of a monument of exceptional value whilst contributing to spreading knowledge of History, Architecture, Archaeology, Art, etc. For this reason, they highlighted that it is a "unique experience" as the guided visits enable you to go deep into the heart of a cathedral under restoration and they offer a "very interesting informative content".

The tour operators extol the "informative nature" of the visit to the restoration work both for the public in general and for specific groups. In this sense, the Santa María Cathedral Foundation contributes to the education of university and postgraduate students, and it has recently been recognized for its part in the integration in the labour market of female graduates. Furthermore, thousands of students of all ages, mainly from Alava, go on the guided visit as part of their education, or participate in a whole range of pedagogical workshops with the aim of involving children in the restoration of our cultural heritage.

On the other hand, the Santa María Cathedral Foundation organizes an intense cultural and informative activity under the title of "Encounters with the Cathedral", with congresses and seminars; conferences with prestigious writers; practical courses on traditional trades; music; theatre; exhibitions; painting, story and photography contests, etc. The more than 50,000 participants in the first two editions and the important repercussions in the media show the interest awakened by these initiatives.