MADRID – On Wednesday, January 18, the FITUR 2023 started in Madrid. During this Spanish holiday fair, the world briefly changes into one large accommodation. The organisers intend to make it the best edition ever.
After the corona pandemic, the level of reservations for the coming year is already generating a lot of optimism in the sector. The estimated attendance at what will be the 43rd edition is 120,000 professionals. In addition, 90,000 visitors will find their way to the IFEMA Assembly Halls in Madrid over the weekend.
FITUR 2023 (January 18-22) kicks off onWednesday with visitor and participation data comparable to the record edition of 2020. The last one before the corona pandemic broke out. The fair continued in both 2021 and 2022. However, this edition is the first since then where people can meet without a protective mask, covid passports and corona tests.
Compared to FITUR 2022, international participation increases by 50%. Special increases can be seen in the Asia-Pacific regions (163%); Africa (88%); Middle East (60%); Europe (42%) and America (30%). This is because there are virtually no intercontinental travel restrictions for flying to Europe.
Business participation is also up significantly, with 25% more tourism businesses than last year. Some 40,000 professionals will participate digitally in the fair and the organisers foresee 300,000 followers on social networks and web traffic of half a million people.
This important progress is also expected to translate into a valuable economic boost for the Madrid region. The estimated turnover is more than €400 million in sectors such as accommodation, transport, trade and restaurants.
The Association of Entertainment Entrepreneurs in Madrid expects more than 220,000 evening outings in connection with the event. This gives the entertainment sector an economic impact of more than €15 million.
Positive trend of tourism activity in Spain
According to Miguel Sanz, director of Turespaña, FITUR 2023 confirms the positive trend of tourism activity in Spain. This saw a recovery in 2022 of about 86% of visitors and 94% of tourism spending compared to that in 2019 and which compared to three years ago also comes from higher quality tourism with higher average spending and more spread across the seasons. According to forecasts by the Ministry of Tourism, more than 71.5 million international tourists will have visited Spain by 2022.
Guatemala, partner country FITUR 2023
Latin America will again play a special role at FITUR. During the previous edition, the Dominican Republic was the fair’s partner country. This year it is Guatemala that will show a varied tourist offer. With destinations like Guatemala Std and natural enclaves like Lake Atitlán – one of the country’s most visited attractions.
Spanish royal couple
The Spanish royal couple opened the Spanish holiday fair. Felipe VI and his wife Letizia were received by José Vicente de los Mozos, President of the Congress Centre. Then they received Alejandro Giammattei, President of Guatemala. On entering the hall, they were greeted by Mertitxell Batet, Speaker of Parliament; Isabel Díaz Ayuso, President of the Community of Madrid; Reyes Maroto, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism; Carolina Darias, Secretary of Health and other authorities, such as various regional presidents and other personalities.
According to the organisation, “it’s time to flex your muscles after the tough years the industry has been through and this is the best place to do it”. The newspaper El Mundo concludes that the atmosphere of optimism breathes in all the pavilions. However, the shadow of the inflation crisis hangs over the discussions on the stands. Nevertheless, according to insiders in the sector, the outlook is more than favourable.