The colors, tastes, accents and music of Latin America are being seen and heard again at the Fitur tourism fair in Madrid, whose 33rd edition was kicked off on Wednesday by Spain's Crown Prince Felipe.

The Latin American countries are bringing the best that they have to Fitur, making their presentations with a combination of traditional, new and ingenious promotional formulas aimed at attracting the attention of tour operators and the public.

The big and colorful sales stands of Mexico and Brazil welcome the visitor at the entrance of the Americas pavilion, which also houses the booths of the United States and Canada.

Inaugurating her country's exhibit was Mexico's tourism secretary, Claudia Ruiz Massieu.

Fitur "is very important" because the year and the strategy for the tourism sector begin here in Madrid, the president of Proexport Colombia, Maria Claudia Lacouture, told Efe.

Colombia has brought to Fitur a virtual "experience" of its trails, rivers and music, including a performance by the popular duo Cali & El Dandee.

From a stationary bike or raft, visitors can make a virtual trip through Colombia's jungle or along its rivers.

Peru's presentation is entitled "Empire of Hidden Treasures" and with its "unique mixture of culture and modernity" the country has transformed itself into a "trendy destination," Maria del Carmen Reparaz, the director of tourism promotion for PromPeru, told Efe.

Brazil's sales stand was one of the most heavily visited on Wednesday.

Accompanied by his wife, Princess Letizia, Crown Prince Felipe inaugurated Fitur on his 45th birthday.

The prince made a tour of various countries' booths and exhibits, including Colombia's, and a group of mariachis serenaded him with "Mañanitas," the Mexican version of "Happy Birthday." EFE