FITUR Begins: The Strategic Event For Tourism Recovery


Organised by IFEMA MADRID, from 19th to 23rd May, FITUR will be the first trade fair on the international circuit of major tourism sector events.

The Fair brings together more than 5000 participants from five continents, with the presence of all Spain’s regions, companies and destinations from 55 countries, and 37 official representations, in addition to the participation of trade visitors of 79 nationalities on the new digital platform: FITUR LIVEConnect.

The Madrid Region will have a special presence as FITUR 2021 PARTNER destination. Its participation at the Fair will focus on promoting the capital as a preferred destination for international tourism under the new brand, Greater Madrid.

There will be new special-interest sections: FITUR LINGUA, FITUR WOMAN and the FITUR TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY space.

Next 19th to 23rd May, IFEMA MADRID is organising the first in-person trade fair on the international circuit of major tourism industry events: FITUR 2021 Tourism Recovery Special. This edition will focus on recovery in this strategic sector for the economy. It will especially focus on Spain, one of the world’s most competitive economies in terms of tourism (World Economic Forum data), where this industry accounted for about 13% in terms of employment and GDP in 2019.

So, next Wednesday, 19th, FITUR 2021 will open its doors to members of the international tourism community who represent the sector’s entire value chain in terms of supply and demand. This edition, so critical for tourism’s recovery, will be attended by destinations, the transport and accommodation industries, the solutions and services sectors, the intermediation sector, travel agents, and tour operators. It will also serve all segments that act as drivers of this business to provide a dynamic scenario for moving the revival ahead and the long-awaited re-encounter between professionals.

The Fair is grateful for the significant institutional support it has received from the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism, from the Madrid Regional government, and from international organisations such as the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO, of which FITUR chairs the affiliate members committee), as well as all the Spanish regional governments, companies, countries and destinations. This backing has been instrumental for launching this edition, which aims to mark a turning point for relaunching tourism globally, to help strengthen business tourism, and boost the image of Madrid and Spain as major opinion leaders and safe tourism destinations.

FITUR will also be the first experience of safe international mobility after many months of restrictions. It will be an extraordinary measure, one to which the Government of Spain has contributed by declaring attendance at FITUR as “essential travel,” enabling exhibitors and visitors from abroad to come to the capital of Spain. The Spanish government has also supported FITUR by declaring FITUR Tourism Recovery Special an Event of Exceptional Public Interest, included in the National Budget for 2021, over three years. This status will be especially beneficial and will give a boost to relaunching the industry and Spain’s tourism image.

In addition to this, IFEMA MADRID has designed a strict Covid-19 sanitary protocol which has four national and international certifications. The protocol covers all the necessary measures to manage aspects such as attendee flows and mobility, occupancy controls, safe distancing, eliminating direct contact by using online registration, and incorporating the latest technologies for health safety and people counting, and especially for air renewal in the halls. Furthermore, for the trade days, there will be an additional measure, the requirement for a negative Covid-19 test, in addition to the mandatory PCR tests at origin and the quick onsite tests.

The Madrid Region, FITUR 2021 destination PARTNER

The Madrid Region will be FITUR 2021’s tourism destination Partner for this Tourism Recovery Special edition. This partnership will be an excellent opportunity to reposition the Madrid region as a world leader and preferred tourist destination for international travellers. Furthermore, this is an active involvement in partnership with the FITUR brand to show the world the Region’s leadership as an economic driver, with its competitive industry and business community. Freedom and legal certainty are features of its legislative and political context.

Over the past year, Madrid’s tourism sector has been hit by the pandemic. Still, it has shown itself to be an example of solidarity, collaboration, and adapting to changing social and economic circumstances. So, at this year’s FITUR, the Madrid government wants to salute the region’s effort with a stand designed as a participatory space for Madrid’s different destinations, products and tourism businesses.

FITUR is also an excellent showcase for the Madrid region’s new tourism model in a changing and increasingly competitive environment. This new tourism model aims to maintain the Madrid region’s competitiveness and leadership with a strategy that can respond to the sector’s needs and contribute to a sustainable and digitalised tourism business in an environment that keeps everyone safe. One of the new developments this year will be on Thursday 20th May at 12 noon on the Madrid Region stand’s main stage, when the Region presents its new brand image and new concept as an international tourism region: Greater Madrid, and the new Destination Weddings tourism product which proposes the Madrid region as the ideal destination to celebrate unique and unforgettable experiences.


At this special edition, FITUR is launching its LIVEConnect community. LIVEConnect is an advanced technology platform designed to complement face-to-face participation. It is part of IFEMA Madrid’s commitment to digitalising its trade fairs by introducing products and services to enable it to reach other markets. FITUR LIVEConnect has been operational from 5th May to 4th June. It has a powerful search and recommendations engine backed by Artificial Intelligence. It enables users to do business networking and strengthen interaction with the international tourism community outside the dates of FITUR’s face-to-face Fair in Madrid.

Taking Part in FITUR 2021

FITUR has 44,000 sq. m net exhibition space across seven halls. This special edition brings together 5000 participants, representing five continents and with direct participation by 55 countries, between destinations and companies, 37 of which are attending as official representatives. In addition to this international representation, for the first time, its figures include participation to date by 79 nationalities on the FITUR LIVEConnect online platform. Also, 17 of Spain’s regions will be participating, and the cities of Ceuta and Melilla.

The attendance forecast for this event is around 50,000 national and international professionals, from Wednesday to Friday. In addition, another 50,000 general public visitors are expected over the weekend.

Special-Interest Spaces and Sections

FITUR covers different topics that address trends that will be vital for relaunching the tourism industry. So, as well as the main cross-cutting themes like digital transformation, technological innovation and sustainable development, which will be part of FITUR’s overall offer, all the verticals will be represented in different sections at this edition: -Business Opportunities For Meetings and Business Travel Tourism At FITUR MICE, health tourism at FITUR HEALTH, film shooting destinations at FITUR SCREEN, cultural event opportunities at FITUR FESTIVALS & EVENTS, talent and professional training, at FITUR TALENT, destinations for diversity at FITUR LGBT, technology solutions for businesses, destinations, sustainability and future trends, at FITURTECHY, and digitalisation, sustainability, and smart tourism destinations at FITUR KNOW-HOW & EXPORT.

FITUR is launching special-interest sections for language tourism at FITUR LINGUA and leadership by women in the tourism industry at FITUR WOMAN. There is also a new space, FITUR TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY, bringing together technology suppliers and innovative solutions that are already setting future trends for new travel concepts. Another new space is CEAV b2b to host business meetings between travel agents and tourism industry suppliers present at the fair.

The FITUR NEXT Observatory focuses on promoting good tourism sustainability practices. This year it has been surveying tourism’s contribution to gender equality and women’s empowerment. It will be presenting the Afrikable, Codespa Foundation and Women in Travel CIC initiatives, winners of the 2021 challenge. In addition, it will host a series of dialogues and testimonials highlighting female talent and the fight for equality in the sector.


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