FITUR 2023 is full of novelties, says María Valcarce

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In less than a fortnight from now, tourism professionals, entities and leading industry voices will gather at the IFEMA Madrid convention centre for this year’s FITUR International Tourism fair.

As the major event which kickstarts the tourism season, FITUR is The ideal place to grow your network, strengthen your business relationships, initiate projects, unravel the latest industry happenings and above all close deals.

This year’s edition will be held from 18 to 22 January 2023.

In an exclusive conversation with the Director of FITUR María Valcarce, she sheds light on the upcoming exhibition and how it is getting ready for the future of tourism.

1.- What are the main novelties of FITUR for the 2023 edition?
FITUR 2023 is full of novelties. We are changing our partner country, this year it will be GUATEMALA, which has a new brand and claim: “Guatemala is amazing and unstoppable”, and will display all its proposals at the fair and surprise many with the richness and variety of its tourist resources. We are launching a new section for sports tourism – FITUR Sports – which we are developing together with the Spanish sports industry association Afydad and which will show us how sports tourism is a driver of sustainable growth for our industry. We are expanding our FITUR Cruises section to cover b2b and b2c and we are presenting a very attractive and innovative proposal for this type of “blue tourism” to have its space at the fair. We renovated our meetings tourism section – FITUR Mice – to accommodate buyers from the association and corporate sectors and to continue to grow in quality, and in each and every section of FITUR we renewed programmes, activities and participations. I do not want to fail mentioning our FITURNEXT sustainability observatory which this year addresses the challenge of the regeneration of natural spaces and will show how the tourism industry can contribute to this task.

2.- What makes FITUR different from the rest of the tourism fairs that take place throughout the year?
We are one of the few events with a global reach, we have that position of leadership that the sector has given us with its support throughout our history and that we have reinforced with the exercise of resilience that we have developed during the pandemic, as we have been the only major international tourism fair that has been held uninterruptedly over the years. We are also characterised by the fact that we are a hub for Latin America, a fact that distinguishes us and reinforces our value proposition. We have a strong business orientation with 3 days focused on b2b and the weekend focused on b2c and we are a tool for the dissemination of knowledge with an extensive and varied programme of sessions and debates throughout our different monographic sections.

3.- FITUR once again has several specialized areas within the event. How important are these initiatives and what added value do they bring to those who visit FITUR?
We have 10 sections. Some are there to make FITUR the place to approach knowledge, innovation, trends and the avant-garde, always in terms of sustainability, others put the tourism industry in communication with other external sectors but which have the capacity to boost tourism, and others focus on a specific market segment. All of them reinforce our value proposition and ensure that FITUR welcomes the entire tourism industry ecosystem. At FITUR 2023 the sections will be as follows: FITUR Techy, with an extensive programme of cutting-edge debates and conferences; FITUR Know How & Export, also with content on innovation and as a platform for promoting technology-based Spanish SMEs; FITUR Talent, which focuses on human resources and training; FITUR Cruises, which brings “blue tourism” to the fair; FITUR Woman, which promotes female leadership in terms of sustainability; FITUR Lingua, dedicated to language tourism; FITUR Screen, dedicated to film tourism; FITUR LGBT+, dedicated to this traveller profile and tourism resources specialising in this segment; FITUR Mice with its agenda of b2b meetings for meeting tourism, and FITUR Sports, dedicated to sports tourism. In addition, we have our sustainability observatory FITURNEX.

4.- What can a presence at FITUR contribute to a destination or exhibiting company?
Being at FITUR means being in the limelight, for all those who make up the tourism industry value chain to get to know and recognise you; making yourself available to meet, talk and achieve business objectives; being part of the great gathering of all of us who are tourism and discovering new possibilities as a result of this meeting.

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