Spain´s biggest trade fair – FITUR ( International Tourism Trade Fair) kicked off yesterday, 18th January, and runs until the 22nd at Madrid´s IFEMA.
FITUR comes as Spain´s income from tourism has officially recovered to pre-pandemic levels helped by last summer´s “dazzling surge” in tourist numbers.
This year the fair, which was opened by King Felipe and his wife, Letizia, has a record 8,500 participating companies, including 755 exhibitors from 131 countries.
Madrid´s regional premier Isabel Diaz Ayuso and Madrid Mayor, Jose Luis Martinez-Almeida, were both in attendance to support Madrid´s push to attract more visitors to the capital and region.
The Madrid region boasts four UNESCO World Heritage Sites – the towns of Alcalá de Henares and Aranjuez, the Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial, and since 2021, the “golden triangle” of Retiro – Pardo in the capital.
The Alliance for Excellency in Tourism Association which is made up of the heads of 33 leading Spanish tourist groups, published their latest industry report showing that last year’s tourism earnings reached an estimated €159 billion, an increase of 1.4% on 2019, representing a “the full recovery of tourism activity in Spain.”
The tourist sector was one of the chief casualties of the pandemic.
In 2022 it 12.2% of the Spanish economy and close to 20% of the workforce are directly or indirectly employed in it.
Spain is the world’s second-favourite holiday destination behind France, with over 80 million visitors with the Balearic Islands, the Canaries and Andalusia the most popular.