The International Tourism Trade Fair FITUR 2020, celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, closed its doors today with an excellent set of results. This special event surpassed all expectations with respect to participation by companies, countries and regions, as well as tourism industry professionals from all over the world.
Trade participation saw growth of 5.16%, reaching a figure of 150,011 participants. In the international arena, there was a significant increase of 6.4% in international visitors, who came from 140 countries. And within just a few hours of the trade fair’s closure, visits from the public over the weekend are expected to exceed 100,000 people, putting this year’s attendance figures at over 255,000 participants.
The flow of this number of people through FITUR is estimated to have generated an economic impact of approximately 333 million euros for the city.
The robust health of the tourism sector both in Spain and abroad – as shown by the record-breaking performance indicators for 2019 – has contributed to the strength of FITUR 2020, again positioning Madrid firmly within the sightlines of the international tourism community and offering one of the most comprehensive showcases for the industry. Proof of this was evident in the opportunities on show during the event, which recorded its best ever figures: 255,000 visitors, 918 main exhibitors, 11,040 companies, 165 countries and regions, and international attendance of 56%. All of this took place within a 69,697.5 m2 net exhibition space – a 3.3% increase in exhibition area – filling 10 halls at Feria de Madrid.
Overall, national participants accounted for 44% of FITUR’s attendance figures, while international visitors accounted for 56%. This last figure represents a significant boost to the trade fair’s internationalisation, driven mainly by increased participation from the Asia-Pacific region (up 21.5%) and Africa (up 19.5%), both of which had their own dedicated halls this year. The halls for Europe and North America also showed growth (up 5.3% and 3.3% respectively).
FITUR brings together hundreds of exhibitors every year, but this year was marked out by the loyalty of Adif, Hotusa Hotels, Melia Hotels, Paradores, Renfe, Turespaña and the magazine Viajar, who also celebrated 40 years of uninterrupted involvement in the trade fair.
Substantial support from the royal family and institutions
The royal family’s continued support of FITUR over the course of the event’s history was also very much in evidence this year, with a 40th Anniversary celebration dinner at the Cibeles Palace, presided over by the King of Spain. The dinner was also attended by tourism ministers from all over the world, as well as leading figures from the regional government of Madrid and the rest of the country. The Queen’s participation in the opening of FITUR added the finishing touches to the event during this special year.
FITUR also welcomed two visits from Pedro Sanchez, the President of the Spanish Government, as well as more than 700 authorities, including ministers, governors and ambassadors from all across the world, presidents and regional ministers of tourism from all of Spain’s regions, and mayors of various towns and cities.
Press and social media
Equally noteworthy was the media interest again garnered by FITUR all around the world. This year, during the trade-only days, the trade fair welcomed 7,625 registered journalists from 61 countries. On social media, FITUR was trending well during the trade fair, reaching a total of 217,000 followers across all its platforms. The hashtag #FITUR2020 was a global trending topic on its opening day, reaching 105 million users, with more than 17,000 accounts tweeting about the trade fair.
New at FITUR 2020
Among the new features this year, South Korea made a notable impression as a Fitur Partner Country, under the banner ‘Imagine your Korea’, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Korea and Spain. Some 25 organisations, including the Korean government, the principal local governments and the main travel agencies and airlines, were involved at the Korean stand, boosting the promotion of Korean tourism under the motto ‘The meeting point of tradition and modernity’.
FITUR 2020 unveiled its FITUR TALENT section, as well as the business meeting platform MEET AFRICA, geared toward fostering awareness of the continent’s opportunities for tourism and trade alliances. The African continent has great potential for implementing projects with the involvement of Spanish companies, which are increasingly active in this market. It also played a leading role in the 11th INVESTOUR forum, held as part of FITUR, which was again jointly organised by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Casa Africa and FITUR.
Another important aspect at FITUR 2020 was its marked orientation toward business, enhancing content and B2B meeting spaces, such as the FITUR B2B Match and FITUR MICE platforms, offering specialised content, forums on trends and know-how and its emphasis on innovation and digital transformation as levers for competitiveness in the sector, in its various specialist sections: FITURTECHY, FITUR KNOW HOW & EXPORT, FITUR SCREEN, FITUR FESTIVALS, FITUR GAY (LGBT+) and FITUR HEALTH.
This was a comprehensive event where sustainability was the underlying constant, both with respect to the development of tourism itself and the cultural and social values associated with the industry. The FITURNEXT Observatory, sponsored by Bankia, also offered an interesting schedule, giving voice to the winning initiatives of its 2020 challenge, focused on how tourism can contribute to local economic development. It also presented the 2020 FITURNEXT Report, analysing more than 250 initiatives with positive social and environmental impacts, based on the idea of sustainability and with high potential for replicability.
As part of this commitment, FITUR, in partnership with the Responsible Tourism Institute (RTI), also awarded the first Award for a ‘SUSTAINABLE STAND’.