Sustainable and accessible tourism, the cornerstone of FITUR 2024

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The International Tourism Trade Fair, organised by IFEMA MADRID from 24 to 28 January 2024, is presented as a global reference in the promotion of environmental, social and corporate governance responsibility in the sector.

It has announced a new FITUR 4all section, which is focused on accessible tourism, it will also recognise the most sustainable stand, be measuring its carbon footprint and the FiturNext Observatory will be rewarding tourism initiatives that contribute to revitalising territories.

FITUR 2024, organised by IFEMA MADRID and taking place from 24 to 28 January at the Trade Fair Centre, is presented as the world’s leading trade fair, not only in the field of tourism, but also in the commitment to sustainability and environmental, social and corporate governance responsibility in the industry. Aware of the need to address current challenges, the 44th edition will be a voice for best practices and the promotion of strategies aimed at fostering respectful tourism in order to promote the development of an increasingly sustainable economy.

To this end, the International Tourism Trade Fair plans to organise numerous activities, workshops and conferences focused on training, awareness-raising and the exchange of knowledge to highlight the importance of sustainable tourism, which minimises its impact on the environment and has a positive impact on culture and local communities and corporate governance, promoting equality and inclusion.

The sections of FITUR, a step forward towards more responsible models

All of the sections at FITUR have the topic of sustainability as a guiding theme, the first edition of FITUR 4all being a noteworthy addition, which will be developed in conjunction with Impulsa Igualdad in order to highlight the importance of advancing towards accessible and inclusive tourism. In favour of equality, a special mention also to the work of FITUR Woman, which highlights female talent in tourism and promotes equal opportunities, as well as FITUR LGBT+. FITUR Screen, FITUR Sports and FITUR Lingua, for their part, stand out for their aim to promote destinations with which to deseasonalise and distribute tourism activity throughout the territories, which is fundamental for the development of communities and progress towards increasingly sustainable models. Finally, FITUR Cruises, which focuses on cruise tourism characterised by the responsibility of blue tourism, and FITUR Talent, with its social and economic dimension of addressing the challenges and opportunities of talent in tourism.

Responsibility, the differential value of FITUR’s exhibitors

FITUR encourages the sustainable participation of its exhibitors, professionals and visitors through action guides and recommendations to be followed, in order to minimise the environmental impact of the trade fair and enhance its positive aspects. In this context, for the second consecutive year, IFEMA MADRID will measure the carbon footprint generated at FITUR as a reflection of its firm commitment to sustainability and environmental awareness, pledging to reduce the levels detected at the next edition of this international event.

In this way, sustainable participation at FITUR is also underlined by the Sustainable Stand Awards, in collaboration with the Responsible Tourism Institute (ITR), which aim to recognise exhibitors’ efforts to ensure that their presence at FITUR is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

FITUR Next Observatory, the initiative that demonstrates how tourism contributes to the revitalisation of territories

The 5th edition of the Fitur Next Observatory, an initiative that rewards projects for their positive impact in different areas, will be rewarding those tourism initiatives that contribute to revitalising territories and alleviating depopulation with the aim of promoting employment and local consumption, reducing inequalities in rural areas and promoting a rural-urban balance and sustainability.

According to UN data, 55% of the world’s population lived in cities in 2018, a percentage that is expected to reach 70% by 2050. This process is detrimental to the planet as these cities alone consume 75% of energy resources and emit 80% of carbon pollution. In Spain, 84% of the territory represents España vaciada (empty Spain), with only 15.9% of the population living in this area.

Given this data, for FITUR it is essential that tourism activities are created with a regenerative approach to tourism, taking into account the relationship between local communities, the environment and the economic development, and promoting a net positive impact on the territories where it is developed.

Once again, Fitur Next will be organising activities, conferences and round tables around the challenge of this year’s edition. The programme will feature experts on depopulation and territorial revitalisation. The agenda will address issues such as depopulation, regenerative and responsible tourism as an engine for the development of a destination and sustainability in the industry.

FITUR 2024 demonstrates that sustainable tourism is not only a trend, but an absolute necessity to guarantee an equitable future for generations to come, and presents a reflection of an industry with a clear responsible orientation, and highlights the efforts, commitments and advances in sustainability of destinations and companies. The International Tourism Trade Fair establishes long-term commitments to continue to improve its practices and outreach, seeking to foster collaboration between key players in the global tourism industry.

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