Being one of the most efficient global meeting points for tourism professionals, leading travel trade fair FITUR is looking to raise the bar in 2019. Organised by IFEMA at Feria de Madrid, FITUR is scheduled from January 23 to 27. According to Ana Larrañaga, Director, FITUR, 880 companies will be taking part this year — an increase of 9 per cent from last year. She is expecting that the number of attendees will surpass the last year’s numbers, when 251,000 delegates turned up for the show.
Sharing her expectations and targets from the show, Larrañaga says, “Apart from this increased participation, we expect that the call for professionals will also be a complete success, in line with the improved figures for the tourism sector both in Spain and worldwide. To achieve this, we are also promoting initiatives like strengthening the programme for international buyers, especially in highly-specialised sectors such as MiCE, for which we are organising the new FITUR MITM – MiCE & BUSINESS B2B space.
Talking about the theme of the show, she said that sustainability is one of the main themes of FITUR this year. “We are working hard to enrich and increase its content, both domestic and international. One of the most innovative initiatives will be the FITUR Cine/Screen Tourism space,” she emphasises.
Commenting on the growth of inbound tourism in Spain and the traffic from India, she says, “The latest data indicates that more than 82 million tourists visited Spain in 2017, and in 2018, we expect to break the record again. Regarding the source market, as with other destinations, European countries are the leaders because they are closer and have easier transport connections, and within that sector, the United Kingdom, Germany and France. On the other hand, Asia as a source market for Spain, and particularly India, has grown continuously. Specifically, in 2017, tourists from India increased by 35 per cent, with 141,000 visitors. We don’t have the data for 2018 yet, and the effect of India being a FITUR Partner, but the growth both as a source country and as a destination for Spanish tourists, is confirmed by the increase in spending by Spaniards abroad by 12.3 per cent.”
In its permanent quest for specialisation and to promote key segments for the tourism industry, FITUR 2019 will contain a new B2B area focusing on MiCE tourism. FITUR MITM – MiCE & BUSINESS, organised in collaboration with the MITM Events specialist company GSAR Marketing, will offer a tool for meetings between professionals and exhibitors.