One of Spain´s biggest trade fairs – the International Tourism Trade Fair, FITUR, is opening this week amid optimism in the travel sector for sustained growth in the industry.
The fair that runs from 24th to 28thJanuary, is held at the IFEMA exhibition complex in Madrid, is one of the most important trade fairs in the country, and brings together trade professionals from the travel and tourist sectors from all over the world.
Tourism is one of Spain´s biggest sectors, representing around 13% of GNP.
According to the latest figures released by the government, there were over 84 million visitors in 2023. A number that exceeded the previous pre-pandemic high of 2019. Of this some 14 million came to the Madrid region.
The Minister for Tourism, Jordi Hereu, said that the figures were 19% higher than the previous year and was worth an estimated 108 billion Euros to the Spanish economy and 16 billion to the Madrid region.
The minister said that this was “a magnificent injection of prosperity” for the Spanish economy, over and above the figure – the number of tourists – which “historically has been the most relevant”, due to the fact that the industry’s ambition now is to make qualitative progress”.
The fair which traditionally brings leading dignitaries to the opening including that of the Royal Family which is expected for the opening.
Madrid´s regional premier, Isabel Diaz Ayuso, is also expected to lead a high level delegation and the Madrid Tourist Board have taken a massive 150 square metre stand hoping to attract some of the expected 200,000 visitors to the fair.
This year there are some 9,000 participating companies from 152 and 806 exhibitors from the public and private sectors who will be there filling 9 halls of the IFEAM complex.
The mood in the industry is a good one and every expectation of a bumper 2024. The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) forecast from November showed that the global tourist sector has now recoeverd to almost 90% of pre-pandemic levels and worth and 1.4 trillion dollars.
Being an Olympic year this year´s FITUR will also have a large presence from France with the lead sponsor of FRANCE 2024 OLYMPIC AND SPORTS DESTINATION.
In addition, FITUR will continue to make progress in digitisation by offering all the sections’ conference programmes via streaming and making the FITUR Live Connect digital platform available to its professional participants who can logon from anywhere.
For those planning on visiting, allow additional time for travelling to and from the venue for the heavy crowds expected.
Advance ticketing can be purchased HERE