Rural Tourism Fair 2009

related: ruraltourism, 2009, storytelling
free posters: videonight, program
tools: facebook, flickr, youtube
flickr gallery: rtf 2009
flickrgroup: rural tourism
forum: Rural Tourism
facebook: Rural Tourism Fair
español: Feria Rural
slideshare: rural tourism fair slides
youtube: rural tourism playlist
worksheets: storytelling now, contando histórias ya
making contact: email us!
editing: How to organize a grassroots tourism fair

A small festival among friends
Un pequeño festival entre amigos

The world's largest small event, the 2009 Rural Tourism Fair was hosted for a ninth year by and friends.

"This year's event expanded on what we've learned the past few years in Oaxaca, Mexico," said Ron Mader, founder of Additions to the 2009 event included food tastings (chocolate, mezcal and local cheeses). Repeated were poplar activities including walking with the weavers, a photo safari among the trees, a farm visit and video nights.

Mader created the fair in 2001 as a way of connecting locals and visitors. Among the advances -- many of the local artisans and tour providers have their own websites and online photo galleries. Information has been incorporated into updated travel guides on and the Oaxaca Wikispace now includes dictionaries of local indigenous languages and directories of artisans.

"We have always depended on the local providers and artisans to fund the publicity and tamales in Oaxaca," Mader said. "The event has been created on a shoestring budget and in these times of financial belt-tightening, it's a great example of how friends can collaborate and organize events with a minimal budget."

Notably, the fair has also changed from a one-day market to a series of a dozen micro-events across eleven days. Most of the events took less than four hours. It's a relaxed and slow travel event.

"The fair emphasizes a 'small is beautiful' approach to tourism," Mader said. "Most visitors to rural environments do so in small groups and the fair reflects mindful practices."

In line with the local and visitor appreciation of food, food tastings were held as well as a farm visit.

On the technology front the Rural Tourism Fair encourages the integration of Web 2.0 tools including Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and YouTube to document best practices in rural tourism. "The fact is Web 2.0 provides the most affordable way for locals to share what's available and what's new with potential visitors. We're showing the resources for independent and small group travel so that others can follow the footsteps," Mader said.


Around the World

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Monday, January 19
Ayuuk, Santa Maria del Tule (map)
Caldo de Piedra
Meeting Point (Punto de Encuentro): Ayuuk, 11am
Árboles de Oaxaca

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Tuesday, January 20
VideoNight, Comala, Allende #109 (poster)
Meeting Point (Punto de Encuentro): Comala, 6pm
Rural Tourism
Online - Voting begins for Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website Award
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Wednesday, January 21
Walk with the Weavers (Caminar con los tejedores), Teotitlán del Valle
Meeting Point (Punto de Encuentro): Community Museum, 11am
World Museums

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Thursday, January 22
Chocolate Tasting (Degustación de chocolate), 6pm
Meeting Point (Punto de Encuentro): Instituto Cultural Oaxaca, Avenida Juárez #909

Play the game! chocolate treasure hunt
World Food
Rome - Launch of the International Year of Natural Fibres.
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Friday, January 23
Leave a positive footprint treasure hunt (Deje una huella positiva)
Everyone's invited! Visit local markets and with permission take photos. Please share the pics in the World Food Photography Group
Special event - Mixe Ma ach at Plaza 8 Regiones, 11am
World Market
World Food

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Saturday, January 24
Bird and Tree Walk (Observacion de aves y árboles), Llano Park
Meeting Point (Punto de Encuentro): Hotel Las Mariposas, Pino Suarez #517, 8am
Birds of the World!
City Parks

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Sunday, January 25
Community Garden, Rojas de Cuauhtemoc
(video) (poster)
Meeting Point (Punto de Encuentro): Community Garden, 11am
Juego: ¿Es orgánico?; Game: Is it organic?
World Market
World Food

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Monday, January 26
Australia Day!
Ecotourism Oceania
Australia Day!
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Tuesday, January 27
VideoNight in Oaxaca, (poster)
Meeting Point (Punto de Encuentro): Comala, Allende #109, 6pm
Juego (Game): Buzzwordbingo
Rural Tourism

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Wednesday, January 28
Mezcal and cheese tasting (poster!)
Meeting Point (Punto de Encuentro): Casa Bugambilias/La Olla, Reforma #402, 6-8pm
World Food

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Thursday, January 29
Meeting Point (Punto de Encuentro): Comedor Denisse, 930am

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Friday, January 30
Leave a positive footprint treasure hunt (Deje una huella positiva)
Everyone's invited! Visit local markets and with permission take photos. Please share the pics in the World Food Photography Group
World Market
World Food

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There's something for everyone!

I remember the conversation about piedrazos from the fair held a few years ago. The locals talked about this bread the way New Yorkers talk about the best cream cheese!

Money comes and goes, but what I will never forget is the satisfaction of being so well received.
- Señora Lucia

Free Flyer! Rural tourism fair (viewmaster)How to Participate

There are many ways to participate:
1) Share photos in the Rural Tourism Photography Group
2) If you are in Oaxaca, join us. Bonus points if you share photos in the Photography Group!
3) If you organize your own event -- anywhere in the world -- let us know so we can add it to the program
4) Members of the Planeta Forum are encouraged to add news in the Rural Tourism branch.
5) If you can help promote the fair, please add a link to this page and to If you let us know, we will give you proper kudos! If you tag this page, please use the code 'rtf2009' so we can track the reference.

About the Fair

The event -- now in its 9th year -- is held in late January as a way to kick start the new year.

The objective of the Rural Tourism Fair is to highlight the numerous options visitors have exploring the rural countryside in a responsible manner. This fair is also a working experiment to model what constites an authentic, eco-friendly, people-friendly grassroots event. Among the highlights -- local food tastings, photography walks, indigenous language lessons and videonights where we show locally made videos and photo galleries. Join us for a walk with the weavers in the town of Teotitlán del Valle, dining adventures at the Caldo de Piedra Restaurant and a hand's on visit to a community garden in Rojas de Cuauhtemoc.

Rural Tourism

The significance of rural tourism runs broad and deep. The 2009 Fair examines the development and promotion of the niche around the world and underscores the importance of educating visitors about rural tourism services.

"We cannot expect travelers to treat the rural countryside in a responsible or ethical manner if they have not been given proper information ahead of time," Mader said. "Too often the logical links between urban and rural settings are ignored, diminishing the effectiveness of tourism development and job creation. The Rural Tourism Fair connects the dots and showcases best practices."

Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website AwardAround the World

Events are being planned elsewhere around the world and will be announced as details are finalized in the program featured on the Planeta Wikispace. One of the parallel events takes place online as voting begins for the Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website Award, created by and the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity.


"Increasingly visitors demand more of their experiences and are opting toward slow travel to explore places in depth," Mader explained. Rising costs of transportation are leading many travelers to select fewer places to visit for longer periods of time. "Oaxaca, Mexico could be the world's capital of slow travel and for visitors to rural communities, entering into the rhythm of the community provides numerous benefits," Mader said.

Oaxaca is world-famous for it's slow food and slower drink, mezcal. Also of note are the state's innovative folkart and traditional crafts. Artisans, such as the weavers in Teotitlán del Valle, are eager to show visitors the process by which they make such beautiful work.

Rural tourism events include walking tours in rural towns, encounters with indigenous people, slow food extravaganzas and the popular Video night.

Small is beautiful

"Local guides, gardeners and artisans are our hosts," Mader said. "Many of the activities attract about a half-dozen to a dozen participants. Micro events are a great way to promote slow tourism. They last just few hours, but stretched over several days they allow participants to meet and remeet one another while providing plenty of time for do-it-yourself adventures.

Mader points out that rural tourism experiences are frequently the domain of small groups, making the niche a good example of the longtail of ecotourism and responsible travel."


The event is aimed at locals and current visitors. Out of towners are asked to make their own reservations.

Web 2

The Rural Tourism Fair is documented using a number of Web2 tools including Facebook, Flickr and Youtube. Colleagues wishing to create parallel events are asked to announce and summarize their events using one or more of these services. A tech request - please tag related pages with the code 'rtf2009.'

On Tuesday, January 20 and 27, Oaxaca's Comala Restaurant hosts the famous Video Night featuring our latest food, market and rural tourism videos on YouTube. Let us know what you think should be on the playlist!


Please consult's Alliances for some great ideas we would like to see funded.


January 19-30, 2009


Accessible travel - Turismo acesible
Astronomy - Astronomía
Climate Change - Cambio Climático
Community Gardens - Huertos Comunitarios
Composta - Compost workshop
Cycling - Ciclismo
Farm visits - Visitas a campos agricolas
Food, Health and Building Community - Comida, Salud y Construyendo Comunidad
Forests and Trees - Bosques y Árboles
Indigenous Languages - Lenguas Indígenas
Markets - Mercados
Mountains - Montañas
Museums - Museos
Renewable Energy - Energía Renovable
Recycling - Reciclaje
Treasure Hunts - Rally
Weavers and textiles - Tejedores y textiles
Walking tours - Caminatas

Video Night in Oaxaca de JuárezKudos

Amate Books
Amigos del Sol
Bicicletas Pedro Martinez
Caldo de Piedra
Casa Bugambilias
Hotel Las Mariposas
Huerto Árbol de la Vida
The News
Teotitlán Community Museum

Guests: Klaus, Audra, Karin, Niki


HP print cartridges 21 and 22

Looking for ...

Environmental education materials
Coloring books
Dugout canoes
Suggestions for re-using, recycling plastic

Tips for Event Organizers

We ask event organizers to create living examples which showcase sustainable practices. Events should last from 1-4 hours. Bonus points for experiential learning. Double bonus points if you document the work via social media, web2 and the local press. Our advice:

Make it simple
Make a poster
Document the event with online photos and videos

January 2009Expected outcomes

Fun learning events which highlight sustainable practices
Improved coverage of rural tourism on
Improved coverage of indigenous culture on
More photos of rural tourism in the Rural Tourism Photography Group
More videos of rural tourism on YouTube
Increased awareness of Indigenous Tourism and Biodiversity Website Award
Increased awareness of 2009 World Environment Day (to be hosted in Mexico)


Travelers Respond to Community Tourism Guide Survey


Rural tourism
How to organize a grassroots tourism fair


rtf 2009

Rural tourism group


Rural Tourism Fair


Ecoturismo Genuino
Red Social Turismo Rural
Good Tourism Wiki
Slideshare Events
Thorn Tree
Planeta Mexico
The News


Tejate has flower but no flour.
Todos queremos comer! (We all want to eat)
You're from Minnesota? I'm from Minnesota.

Ride share!
No hay ovejas grises.
(There are no gray sheep)


How do we measure engagement?
How do we improve engagement?


View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: rtf2009)


video night, 01.09
Cheese and Mezcal Tasting







2009 Rural Tourism Fair