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  The world tourism industry gathers around the most technological staging of FITUR

Foto The world tourism industry gathers around the most technological staging of FITUR

The Trade Show has grown by 8%, in line with the good moment that the world tourism sector is enjoying and with the record figures in Spain.

International participation has grown by 13%, and includes new countries and new official representations. There has also been a growth in the participation of national representations (3%) and of technological firms (16%).

India will be the FITUR Partner and will be the fifth country by presence in the Trade Show.

FITUR will be breaking ground as an ‘Augmented Trade Show’, since it will premiere the development of a set of tourist and trade show management apps. They will deploy their functionalities with 5G technology in the near future.

The strategy of segmentation has added the new FITUR FESTIVALS to its monographic sections, in response to the growing specialisation and the search for new market niches.
The Trade Show will be generating 260 million euros over its five days, and will strengthen the various sectors connected to tourism in Madrid.

IFEMA kicks off the international schedule of tourism trade fairs with FITUR 2018, the great business and professional meeting platform that will present the latest proposals, destinations and news of world tourism in Madrid between 17th-21st January. Like every year, this staging will allow agents from this industry to establish the lines of work that will set the programme for the whole year. Many business meetings will be held and contacts and business exchanges will be made.

Furthermore, the International Tourism Trade Fair is being held in a highly positive context, with record figures on a national and international level. According to figures provided by the UNWTO, tourist destinations received 1.1 billion international tourists between January and October 2017 (a growth of 7% over the same period in the previous year, or 70 million more international arrivals). Spain has also reached record figures: up until November, 77.8 million international tourists had visited our country, accounting for a growth of 9.1%. Tourist expenditure totalled 82.293 billion euros, for a growth of 12.9%.

Growth of FITUR
This positive scenario will be best reflected in FITUR 2018, which is increasing its content, both national and international, the number of participating companies and its surface area.

This staging will cover 65,500 m2 (4% more) and will have more than 10.000 participating companies from 165 countries and regions, increasing the number of main exhibitors to 816 (8% more overall). It is especially important to mention the 13% increase in international participation, which accounts for 54% of the total, whereas national participation (46% of the total) has grown by 3%.

The regions that have grown the most are Africa (more than 21%), Asia-Pacific and Europe (more than 19% and 15% respectively).

Furthermore, this staging will see the first-time participation of Syria, São Tomé and Príncipe, Bangladesh and Bosnia-Herzegovina. In addition, the international contingent will also include Azerbaijan, Belorussia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Latvia, Mauritius, Puerto Rico and Ukraine. These countries had already participated through companies from their territories, but they are back in FITUR with an official representation.

The 2017 attendance figures of 244,972 visitors, including 135,838 professionals, are expected to be exceeded. Madrid will receive a significant number of visitors because of FITUR, thereby yielding an estimated financial impact of 260 million euros. All hotels are expected to be fully booked and sectors linked to tourism, such as restaurants and retail and leisure businesses, will be highly active.

In this sense, FESTITUR will be held again this year, to coincide with the Trade Show, in collaboration with Madrid Night, the programme of cultural, leisure, business and cuisine activities that aims to highlight the appeal of Madrid as a tourist destination and to boost expenditure in leisure activities, which totalled 12.5 million euros and 190,000 night visits by the FITUR professionals.


For the third year in a row, FITUR has allowed a participating company or destination the chance to become integrated in its communication strategy to gain better advertising and broadcasting. On this occasion, this partner programme has turned INDIA into a FITUR Partner, adding its country brand to this staging and placing the Asian power in a special spotlight during the Trade Show.

In fact, INDIA is the Asian country with the greatest presence in this staging, and one of the top five in the Trade Show as a whole. Under the slogan of ‘Incredible India’, the hall led by the India Tourism Board has witnessed a 35% increase in overall participation, with a greater presence of companies and states/regions, as well as of tour operators that will be present in their own stands.


FITUR 2018 is presented as the most technological staging, since it will focus on innovation as one of the keys for the transformation of the tourism industry. Apart from its new incorporations, it will also feature the proposals from the FiturtechY and Fitur Know-How & Export sections regarding development, management of Big Data or segmented marketing, as well as the various technology companies in halls 8 and 10, which have grown by 16% over the previous staging of FITUR.
Another technological novelty is the creation of a state-of-the-art communication channel. This channel will use the Youshow app to provide real-time access to video content, broadcast everything that happens in FITUR and share it on social media.
FITUR “Augmented Trade Show”
One of these great technological novelties will turn FITUR and IFEMA into pioneers of the concept of “Augmented Trade Show”, a term that was coined by the multidisciplinary team that has been innovating in IFEMA LAB 5B since last September. This lab was created by IFEMA and 5TONIC to identify a series of applications, developed to deploy their functionalities with 5G technology (still in the process of standardisation) in the near future.

The prototypes that will be presented in FITUR, in a stand in the north hall of the Feria de Madrid, will provide a taste of the possibilities of this ground-breaking technology that will completely transform the way to experience tourism and its management in a trade show environment. A special focus shall be placed on its synergy with Augmented Reality, a set of solutions geared towards strengthening the interactivity of the users and providing an immersive environment for their activity through access to almost limitless communications, data and calculation services in real time.

The “Augmented Trade Show” includes elements of customisation, scheduling and guidance with a smart virtual wizard, holographic interaction with other exhibitors or visitors in FITUR, or people connected to it, plus the possibility of checking out all the activities and contents through 100% digital access.

First responsible tourism award

Another one of the key points is the commitment from FITUR towards sustainable tourism, from an environmental, social and economic point of view. In this sense, the Trade Show will present the progress of countries, companies and institutions to contribute to the development of new models aimed at diversifying, deseasonalising and qualifying tourism. With this aim in mind, FITUR has joined the initiative of the InterMundial Foundation, in collaboration with the Instituto Técnico Hotelero -ITH, to award the First Responsible Tourism Award, an acknowledgement of the involvement of tourism companies that work to develop and activate tourism that is responsible with the environment, the economy and local society. A list of 52 candidates was received: 12 corresponded to hotel and accommodation business, 3 to transport businesses, 20 to tourist product and service businesses and 17 to destinations. The winners will be presented in FiturtechY, on Thursday 18th January at 5.30 PM.

In line with its growing specialisation, this year FITUR will be presenting the FITUR FESTIVALS section. Its purpose is to produce new tourist networks and promote and develop this segment of the tourism industry that boasts huge potential. FITUR FESTIVALS, organised jointly with Spain Live Music, will rely on the participation of large firms specialising in the organisation of festivals, destinations and service providers. This offer shall be completed with the presentation of different conferences that will tackle subjects such as “Festivals and Tourism Development”, “Building a relevant sector”, “Since we are sharing clients, why not work together?” and “The soundtrack of the destinations. What does your land sound like?”

Together with FITUR FESTIVALS, the various sections in FITUR are also the best reference for the growing specialisation of tourism. This includes FiturtechY, an area organised by the Instituto Tecnológico Hotelero ITH, in hall 10, where four simultaneous conferences on the business sector will be held: #techYnegocio;  destination management, #techYdestino;  sustainability, techYsostenibilidad,  and future trends, #techYfuturo. Technology will remain a constant co-protagonist in all of them and a vehicle to help us understand and anticipate the needs and expectations of the clients so we can build “a custom-made dream for tourists”.

Finally, the FiturtechY section also includes #techYhotel within a smart space. In here, hosts will be able to interact in a natural and intuitive way with every hotel service, and enjoy the amazing options of experience customisation that the latest technologies provide for hotels and their guests.

Technologies related to digital transformation shall also be the common thread of Fitur Know-How & Export, organised by SEGITTUR and FITUR, in collaboration with ICEX Spain, Exports and Investment, to strengthen the exporting of Spanish tourist know how. This section, which shall be held in hall 10, shall include a simulation of a smart tourist destination, the innovative tourism solutions of 40 exhibitors and the incorporation of a new area devoted to enjoying the experience of travelling with different virtual reality solutions. Finally, the Startup Area shall have technology-based tourism projects developed by young companies.

The final parts of this section are SEGITTURLab, the think-tank where several practical workshops for tourism entrepreneurs and professionals on gamification, chatbots, customer journeys, virtual reality, design thinking and blockchain will be held, and Smart Talks program, which will analyse various aspects related to digital transformation and the development of smart tourist destinations and the tourism intelligence system, among others.


This year again there shall be a section on shopping tourism, in FITUR SHOPPING. A series of round tables shall be held to address some of the key issues of this tourism segment that is already one of the main motivations of millions of people when selecting a destination. The data from EY/Global Blue point to a market volume of 50 billion euros of tax free goods by tourists from outside the EU, a market volume of 125 million euros in the European shopping market and a world market volume of 217 billion euros, which support this reality.


Furthermore, like every year, FITUR HEALTH, with the support of the SPAINCARES cluster, acknowledges this global trend of growth in this type of tourism, that has tripled in a decade in our country and in the rest of the world, with an exhibition area, to display the latest health tourism proposals, a B2B meeting area, an academic area with spaces for expert analysis, debates and conferences, and a B2C space for free public demonstrations.

In addition, FITUR LGBT, in collaboration with Diversity Consulting International, will set out various proposals and activities related to this form of tourism that accounts for more than 10% of the total number of tourists in the world and between 15% and 16% of the total tourist expenditure. In Spain it yields profits of 7.3 billion euros from an estimated total of almost 7 million international LGBT tourists every year (not including large single events such as the World Pride). This will be the eighth year of continued growth in the number of stands, companies and visitors in this segment, which is one of the most profitable and least seasonalised in the tourism industry. The contents of FITUR LGBT also include a series of presentations. This year, the presentation will revolve around the art world, and will rely on more than 80 top participants from the professional, social, business and political world.


B2B meetings
For the eighth year in a row, and in view of earlier successes, FITUR will again be the setting for a series of B2B Workshop Hosted Buyer meetings with a structure aimed at promoting business contacts and exchanges. On this occasion, supply and demand will again be brought together, according to the specific interests of the participants: exhibitors and co exhibitors to promote their products on a world stage, and international buyers. A total of 6,200 meetings between the 135 international buyers that are guests of FITUR and the 500 participating exhibitors and co exhibitors are thus expected to take place. Guest buyers for this staging come from 39 countries, including the United Kingdom, Argentina, Russia, India, the United States of America and Colombia, among others.

FITUR 2018 will also be holding INVESTOUR, the Tourism Investment and Business Forum for Africa, which is organised jointly by the World Tourism Organisation (UNTWO), Casa África and FITUR. This event will be held on Thursday 18th January. It will address some of the most pressing issues for the African continent, including the status of the Africa Brand and its impact on tourism in the African continent. As in previous stagings, the Investour Forum will hinge around two sessions where two round tables and B2B business meetings, respectively, will be held.

As a preamble for FITUR, the 9th EXCELTUR TOURISM LEADERSHIP FORUM will be held on Tuesday 16th January. It will be organised in collaboration with the UNTWO and FITUR, under the banner of “How to achieve sustainable growth and streamline digital transformation”.


The Latin American Conference for Tourism Ministers and Businessmen (CIMET) will be held again this year. It is organised by the Nexo Group for the purpose of strengthening the internationalisation of Spanish tourism companies and marketing Latin American destinations in Spain.

1. On the other hand, focusing on the professional world, FITUR will host several organised activities which shall be organised, respectively by the UNTWO, such as “UNWTO Workshop on Chinese Outbound Tourism Market”, the Committee on Tourism and Sustainability of the UNWTO, or the Casa Árabe round table, organised in conjunction with Casa Árabe. The traditional gala of the UNWTO Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism will be held on Wednesday evening in FITUR. These awards recognise the work of private citizens and organisations of the whole world that have served as inspiration and had a positive impact in innovative ways in the tourism sector.

Apart from these activities, there are workshops and presentations by companies and associations, such as those by the Association of Scientific Experts in Tourism (AECIT) on ‘The Intelligences of Tourism”, by the Spanish Wine Tourism Association (AEE) and the Spanish Wine Tourism Institute on “The Future of Wine Tourism: innovation in Destination Brands, Product Design and eMarketing”, the presentation by the Tourism Board – Antonio de Nebrija University on “Studies of Tourism Scenarios and Approach to Satellite Tourism Accounts in Spain”, or the FETAVE workshops on “Challenges and solutions to tackle the future of travel agencies. The example of the Spanish Costa del Sol as a success story in the diversification of tourism destinations. The role of travel agencies”, among others.

Needless to say, there will also be weekend activities for the general public, in the FITUR FESTIVALS areas and the FITUR GAY-LGBT game programme, with top quality family shows, and the 2nd hackaTrips, the 9th Traveller Meetup and the 6th Photography Workshop, organised by Minube.

FITUR will also be the setting for the FITUR STAND AWARDS for Professionalism (suitability of the stand to the marketing needs of every product), Communication/Promotion (identification of the stand with the image and the product) and Design. The awards in the 13th Awards for “Best Active Tourism Product”, from FITUR and Aire Libre magazine, aim to boost the development and marketing of the tourism industry and project the best-quality tourism products. Finally, the 19th edition of the FITUR-JORGE VILA FRADERA PLATFORM will be held in collaboration with the Association of Scientific Experts in Tourism, to select an unpublished research paper in the field of tourism.

The “The AppTourism Awards 2018” for tourism apps, which are organised jointly by SEGITTUR and FITUR will be held during Fitur Know-how & Export on 18th January. The 2018 Tourist App Guide, developed jointly by SEGITTUR, the Spanish Chamber of Commerce and FITUR, shall be presented on 18th January. This guide includes 236 tourist apps that cater for the needs of tourists at different stages of their trips. The guide is divided into seven categories, including transport, accommodation, leisure and restaurants, active tourism, destination guide, utilities and a special section for tourist applications available in Smartwatch.

The “Tourism Awards” shall be presented within the framework of FITUR GAY (LGBT). The categories are Destination, International Cooperation –Institution – Organisation and Media, and the “Special acknowledgement for actions in favour of the LGBT community”.

.FITUR, CEAV and the “VolandoVa”  initiative from MSF
This year, FITUR joins the Spanish Travel Agencies Confederation (CEAV) and Doctors Without Borders (MSF) to support the “VolandoVa.com” aid initiative. This is the first web page devoted to humanitarian medical aid, and it offers a wide range of destinations that nobody would like to visit and that need help urgently. Travellers select a destination, the type of trip and the contribution and then book the flight where the materials required by MSF to provide urgent assistance in the selected country will be shipped. Every contribution helps build the medical humanitarian kits that will be used to support those that are most vulnerable.

Online FITUR channels
FITUR will broadcast its content through the new Youshow app and through its online channels, including the official web page, the FITURNews digital magazine, which has been issued since December and includes multimedia content with previews of the fair, and the FITUR DAILY magazine (also available in paper format), which will provide updated information on all the events in the Trade Show during its first three days. FITUR also has communication channels on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and LinkedIn. More than 100,000 followers in the whole world will follow the content and news that are distributed and shared throughout the year.

WORLD DUTY FREE patrocinador del área de cargadores /wifi del pabellón 3
WORLD DUTY FREE es patrocinador del área de cargadores /wifi situada en el pabellón 3 de FITUR.  World Duty Free es una de las marcas más populares en el sector travel retail. Sus tiendas están localizadas principalmente en aeropuertos, y abarcan un extenso alcance geográfico, desde su sede en Europa Occidental, hasta América, Oriente Medio y Asia. WDF opera con diferentes conceptos de retail, desde duty free hasta conveniencia, a través de las tiendas de aeropuerto más emocionantes y atractivas del mundo. La marca ofrece una amplia gama de productos de las principales categorías tradicionales, con un enfoque en el cliente y programas de marketing innovadores, que incluyen una comunicación multi-canal y promociones interactivas. WDF se convirtió en parte de Dufry en 2015, convirtiéndose en la mayor adquisición en la historia del travel retail.



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