All the regions of Spain will be present at the Ifema exhibition centre. / Sur

Spain's Fitur 2023 international travel fair in Madrid showcases tourism recovery

The travel fair, claimed to be one of the three most important in the world, returns to pre-pandemic figures with the presence of 131 countries and 8,500 exhibitors

Pilar Martínez
PILAR MARTÍNEZ MADRID.

The International Tourism Fair (Fitur), which will be inaugurated today Wednesday, 18 January, by the King and Queen of Spain, is regaining its strength.

Last year the wave of the Omicron variant of the coronanirus impacted on the sector and the fair but this year the figures speak for themselves. In this 43rd International Tourism Fair, which runs until the 22 January, 131 countries will take part, with 8,500 exhibitors. The event, which is expected to have an economic impact in Madrid of more than 400 million euros, also boasts of "being the only fair to be held continuously, even in the midst of the health crisis".

All the autonomous communities will be present at the Ifema exhibition centre, with Andalucía having the largest exhibition space. The organisers have explained that Guatemala is participating this year as a partner country of Fitur 2023 and that there will be 755 stand holders, 32 per cent more than in 2022, spread over eight pavilions. The interest in this event has boosted the visitor forecast, which is expected to exceed 120,000 professionals.

At the event's presentation ceremony, attended by the director general of Turespaña, Miguel Sanz; the director of Fitur, María Valcarde and the Guatemalan ambassador to Spain, Mónica Bolaños, the president of Iberia and of the Fitur organising committee, Javier Sánchez-Prieto, described the figures as "excellent" and said that they "reflect the strength of national and international tourism and the efforts of the entire tourism value chain".

This year's fair is highlighted by a significant increase in its international presence. This year there are 163 per cent more companies from the Asia Pacific region and 60 per cent more from the Middle East. Europe has also increased its exhibition area by 32 per cent and global business participation has grown by 25 per cent.

Fitur has outstanding spaces for innovation, digital transformation and technology, sustainable development, accessibility, cruises or congresses and specific areas to promote the LGBT customer segment and sports tourism.