- The Trade Show registers a new record in participation, with 9,500 companies from 165 countries and regions and with nearly 60,000 square metres of exhibition space.
- The number of direct stand-holders is on the rise, with growth of 3% and 2% in occupation. An increasing number of visitors is also estimated, exceeding the figure of 222,551 attendees at the previous staging.
- The schedule of B2B forums, which in 2015 hosted 5,000 business meetings, will again confirm FITUR as an indispensable tool in dynamising the global tourist market.
Nuevo Imparcial.- From 20 to 24 January, Madrid will be hosting the 36th edition of FITUR, the premier business and promotion forum of the worldwide tourism industry. Organised by IFEMA, the International Tourism Fair will feature the novelty of having Andalusia as its principal partner, with the support of the main agents in the industry: the World Tourism Organisation, UNWTO; the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism as well as the companies and bodies represented in its Organising Committee.
The sector’s growing commitment, which for the second consecutive year confirms the Trade Show’s growth coinciding with the excellent progress made by the industry worldwide, places the focus on the high expectations for this new staging which, as is now traditional, inaugurates the international circuit of travel industry gatherings, taking the sector’s pulse. FITUR will thus draw together in Madrid all the actors in the tourism industry around one of the most important trade and professional events in the world.
Its business vocation, the integration of the latest trends and segments into its offer and its firm commitment to innovation and technology situate FITUR as an indispensable lever for the tourism market’s innovating and dynamising drive. This is confirmed by the figures emerging for FITUR 2016, a reflection of tourism’s powerful weight both in Spain and on the global stage.
Growing for the second consecutive year
The Trade Show is again growing in participation, having reached the figure of 9,500 companies from 165 countries and regions. As for direct participation, the number of main stand-holders amounts to 713, an increase of 3% over the previous staging and of 2% in net exhibition surface, with an occupation of 57,850 sq m. The offer of businesses, organisations and organisms will be distributed between halls 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 of Feria de Madrid.
Both national and international participation share these growth figures, that in the case of firms increase this edition until 8%. For its part, the national area presents a total of 85 new joins at the Trade Show, with a particularly significant increase in the presence of technology companies, which is boosted by a further 40, and in the Health Tourism section, with 12 new participations reaching a total of 25 firms.
There is also significant growth in the international area, where an increase of 3% and 77 new joins has been registered -prominent among them is Burkina Faso, which is attending for the first time with official representation, and Latvia, which will have business representation-, and 16 rejoined, including the Netherlands, Indonesia, Puerto Rico, Belize and Guinea, which were present at the previous staging through their businesses and which this year, and as a novelty, are coming with official representation. In this edition, there will be an increase of Europe, with an important companies participation, and of Africa, with the incorporation and consolidation of new destinities of that continent.
As for attendance forecasts, the same upward trend is expected to be confirmed, thus exceeding the figure attained in 2015, which registered 222,551 attendees, including 125,085 professionals.
A reflection of the industry’s situation
The commitment of tourism companies and official bodies at FITUR falls within the positive environment that tourism is enjoying both globally and, specifically, in Spain. In this regard, according to the UNWTO’s forecasts, Spain will attain the figure of 68 million international tourists in 2015, representing an increase of 6.2% in foreign tourist visitors and allowing the country to maintain its third position worldwide in number of arrivals (after France and USA) and second position by revenue (after USA). Furthermore, and for the first time, in 2015 Spain won first position in the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index compiled by the World Economic Forum thanks, among other factors, to our infrastructures, our cultural resources and our ability to adapt to the trends set by the new digital consumer.
All of this highlights the weight of tourism in the Spanish economy, one of the principal drivers of our country’s recovery and enhanced dynamic activity, representing 11% of Gross Domestic Product, more than 12% of employment and situating it as Spain’s first export sector.
Spanish outbound tourism is also growing at a rate of 16% in expenditure in other countries, sharpening the interest in capturing visitors from our country among agencies, tour operators, hotels and other services present at FITUR 2016.
An offer that integrates market trends In keeping with the position of Spain and its tourism industry in the world, FITUR has developed an integrative model in which the latest market trends all have their place. With this premise, added to the important offer of tourist destinations and businesses are the monographic sections as pivots of innovation and business. They place the focus on the market’s growing segmentation and the emergence of new business opportunities. The latest incorporations, FITUR SHOPPING and FITUR HEALTH, which were successfully launched at the past staging, are consolidating their position. The FITUR LGBT section is also growing, representing the offer from a sector that in Spain moves 6.1 billion and has vast development potential.
Business and networking The technologies that have revolutionised both management and marketing as well as other tourism business fields will have their space at FITUR, offering the keys to successfully confronting the sector’s challenges in regard to innovation, technology and sustainability throughout the value chain of the industry and of tourism management. In this regard, FITUR KNOW HOW & EXPORT, promoted by FITUR and SEGITTUR, will be staging its fourth edition, seeking to boost the international outreach of knowledge and management in Spanish tourism companies. Also noteworthy is FITURTECH, organised by the Instituto Tecnológico Hotelero, ITH, in collaboration with FITUR. It will showcase the latest proposals in the field of technology as well as in tourist apps, in a clear commitment to third-generation tourism. Also present will be FITURGREEN, with the support of the UNWTO, which will foster sustainability through energy-saving and efficiency measures in hotel and tourism management.
Equally, given the good results of the last staging –with more than 5,000 prearranged business meetings in the B2B encounters and 200 international buyers–the Trade Show will host the FITUR B2B Hosted Buyer Workshop. On this occasion 50 countries, 500 exhibitors and around 200 international buyers invited by the Trade Show will be taking part. Here participants will have an agenda of customised, pre-arranged appointments diaries to facilitate the possibilities of commercial exchanges and agreements between participating companies and the broad selection of international buyers invited by the Organisation.
Additionally, FITUR 2016 will again stage initiatives with a consolidated trajectory, such as the Tourism Investment and Business Forum for Africa, INVESTOUR, which is holding its seventh edition as the mandatory stage for participation by Spanish and international companies interested in investing in projects on the African continent, from the perspective of promoting a sustainable tourism model that will operate as a driving force for the development of this region. On this occasion, furthermore, FITUR, Casa África and the UNWTO, the organisers of the encounter, will be supported by the Spanish Travel Agencies’ Confederation, CEAV, which will invite its retail and wholesaler network to participate in the forum and thus evaluate business possibilities in Africa, an area enjoying rapid tourism development which last year welcomed 56 million tourists and generated revenue amounting to 36.5 billion dollars.
Major encounters of the tourism industry
FITUR will be hosting an intense programme of workshops and professional meetings that will bring together tourism experts in different topics to conduct an in-depth analysis of the situation being experienced by the tourism industry and to explore new business possibilities and spaces. Thus, among the events due to be staged as part of FITUR are, among others, the eighth Tourism Leadership Forum organised by EXCELTUR, which will address the topic of “Innovative policies for connecting with the digital tourist”, the 19th Latin American Conference for Tourism Ministers and Businessmen, CIMET; the functions organised by the UNWTO, among which are the prize-giving ceremony of the 12th UNWTO Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism, as well as a suite of forums on knowledge and innovation associated with the Trade Show’s different monographic sections.