It is time to leave the coronavirus pandemic behind, and the international tourism fair Fitur, which will be held in Madrid from January 18 to 22, wants to take advantage of the opportunity and hopes that this edition will mean a return to normality and serve to consolidate the recovery of the sector. The figures of the fair registered up to 8,500 participating companies, 131 countries and 755 exhibitors, among which this year the presence of Ukraine stands out, in the middle of the war with Russia.
The kings Felipe and Letizia inaugurate this coming Wednesday the 18th the 43rd edition of Fitur, with Guatemala as the guest country. “Guatemala. Amazing and Unstoppable”, is the slogan of the campaign that the Central American country, partner on this occasion. The organizers anticipate around 200,000 entries, of which 120,000 will be professionals and between 80,000 and 90,000 visitors, who may arrive at the Ifema site over the weekend.
The organizers and the sector as a whole trust that Fitur will mean the definitive return to normality and consolidate Spain as a first-rate destination, once long distance and, especially, Asian tourism are back.
Fitur can boast of being the only fair in the world, among the great tourism ones, that was not interrupted during the pandemic, although the two previous editions were held idling and marked by masks, covid passports and mandatory tests.
Up to 8,500 companies and more than 130 countries
In this Fitur, the first of the major fairs on the international circuit, the occupied area will total 66,900 square meters (similar to that of 2020, just before the pandemic was declared) and there will be more than 8,500 companies from 133 countries and 755 holders of a stand (34% more than in the previous edition).
International participation rises 50% compared to last year with stronger growth in Asia-Pacific (163%), Africa (88%) and the Middle East (60%) and that of Latin American exhibitors grows 15% over the 2020 record Likewise, the participation of companies increases by 25%, especially in the technological field, which increases its exhibition area by 50%.
Around 40,000 professionals will participate digitally in the fair and the organizers foresee 300,000 followers on social networks and web traffic of half a million people.
The fair will mean revenue for Madrid of more than 400 million euros in hotels, restaurants, bars and entertainment venues, as well as an important opportunity to attract quality tourism. Although the number of registered exhibitors and countries is lower than the pre-covid records, the president of Ifema, José Vicente de los Mozos, highlights that the volume of business that the fair will move will be greater than then.
There will be ten specialized sections, among which the novelty is Fitur Sports, a niche of growing importance both for destinations and for companies because it also allows tourism to be seasonally adjusted.
Ukraine thinks about its recovery
Ukraine will attend this fair with its own pavilion, courtesy of Ifema, which has already done the same on other occasions, such as in 2011 with Syria, in the midst of a civil war.
The country headed by Volodimir Zelenski -which has not always attended Fitur- wants to establish contacts with different institutions at this fair, thinking about the future recovery of tourism once the war ends.
“We are delighted to receive them at the fair and to be able to be useful to a country that is in a dramatic situation, which we trust will end soon,” the director of the fair, María Valcarce, told Efe.
Maroto expects better figures than in 2019
The Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto, who is attending her last Fitur before dedicating herself to her candidacy for mayor of Madrid, is confident that this edition will provide a new boost for tourism and consolidate the recovery and even exceed the volumes of tourists and spending before the covid.
In statements to Efe, Maroto explained that post-covid tourism will not be the same, because in the last two years the Government has deployed an “ambitious” agenda “that is laying the foundations for the most profound change that has been undertaken in the sector in recent decades and is advancing towards sustainability, digitization, deseasonalization and a better territorial distribution”.
For his part, the executive vice president of the Exceltur tourism alliance, José Luis Zoreda, has advanced to Efe that, at the expense of a more in-depth analysis that concludes on the margins of Fitur, 2023 is presented as a promising year with “reasonably good” prospects. good” pending how the war in Ukraine evolves, interest rates, inflation and the cost of energy.