The fair, organised by IFEMA MADRID and taking place from 24 to 28 January, is growing in all its dimensions, most notably in international presence, with the official representation of 20 more countries than in 2023.
The figures for the 44th edition show the industry's weight over the past year, making FITUR the world's leading trade fair in terms of the number of participants and visitors. Ecuador is participating as FITUR 2024 Partner Country in a record-breaking year that is bringing together a total of 9,000 participating companies, 152 countries and 806 exhibitors, which in terms of revenue for Madrid represents over €430 million
The 44th edition of the International Tourism Trade Fair, FITUR, to be held in Madrid from 24 to 28 January, organised by IFEMA MADRID, reflects the growth experienced in recent months by the national and international tourism industry and lays the foundations for the consolidation of the sector during 2024.
An event that kick-starts the international calendar of tourism fairs and consolidates its leadership position with the support of all public and private agents in the tourism industry value chain, and which points to record figures in all its dimensions, with a total of 9,000 participating companies, 152 countries, and 806 exhibitors who will be presenting their offers over nine halls, one more than in 2023.
Likewise, FITUR's great response from the industry is also expected to be excellent in terms of attendance, with an estimated 150,000 professional visitors between Wednesday to Friday and 100,000 general public attendees over the weekend.
All these figures will translate into an important economic injection for Madrid, with an estimated €430 million in revenue that will directly impact sectors such as transport, hotels, restaurants, commerce, leisure and culture.
With these excellent figures, FITUR maintains its solid business orientation, with three days exclusively for professionals, and its additional outreach to travellers at the weekend, when it opens its doors to the general public.
Among the new features of 2024 is the special participation of Ecuador as Fitur Partner Country, with a major display at the Fair, as well as the presence of Sustainability as a transversal axis of the entire tourism offer and the sections of the fair. A reflection of FITUR's commitment to being a key tool for sharing knowledge and innovation, and a lever for promoting a more sustainable tourism model, where environmental, social and corporate governance responsibility will be present in the proposals of destinations and companies, as well as in the content of the ten sections and in all the activities that will take place during the event.
FITUR grows in internationality
FITUR 2024 is defined by the significant growth of the Fair. It is worth highlighting the leap compared to 2023 in terms of exhibition space, with the addition of one more hall, making a total of nine, as well as the direct participation of exhibitors with stands, which at this edition rises to 806, representing an increase of 7% compared to last year's edition.
Also notable is the growth in international participation, one of the most important parameters for FITUR, bringing together 152 country participations in 2024, including 96 official destination representations.
All areas of FITUR are growing both in terms of exhibition area and exhibitors and, together with sustainability, innovation plays a leading role in the tourism sector being promoted at FITUR. Tourism technology companies, grouped under the Travel Technology umbrella in Hall 8, grew by 23% to nearly one hundred.
In this way, the International Tourism Fair reflects the latest World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) forecasts of November 2023 to recover almost 90% of pre-pandemic levels in international tourism with revenues that could reach 1.4 trillion dollars by 2023.
This was announced at the official presentation of FITUR 2024, which was held this morning at IFEMA MADRID and was attended by a large number of institutional and tourism industry representatives.
Juan Arrizabalaga, Managing Director of IFEMA MADRID, said that "FITUR is one of the great calling cards not only for our company, but also for the Spain Brand. It is a source of pride that every year it reaffirms its leadership position not only for the increase in its figures and the generation of business, but also for its intangible contribution of value, knowledge and best practices in sustainability to the sector, without forgetting the economic impact it generates in its environment as one of the major players in the tourism industry.
Ecuador's Undersecretary of Tourism Promotion, Diego Andrade, said, for his part, that "the presentation we will carry out aims not only to highlight the significant contribution of Spanish visitors to Ecuadorian tourism but also to demonstrate how we intend to optimize our participation in the FITUR fair to comprehensively showcase all the wonders that Ecuador has to offer. Our focus is on illustrating the cultural richness, natural diversity, and unique tourism opportunities that our country presents, emphasizing our strong intention to strengthen and expand tourism relations between Ecuador and Spain".
In her speech, Rosa Ana Morillo Rodríguez, Secretary of State for Tourism of the Ministry of Industry and Tourism of the Spanish Government, stressed that "Pending the final closure of the year, the forecasts for 2024 are very positive; it is evident that people are eager for Spain." She has also explained the main novelties that her department will present this year at FITUR and the two central events that will take place at the Turespaña stand, focused on two key areas of action for the Secretary of State for this term: the social and environmental sustainability of tourism and experiential tourism".
Almudena Maíllo del Valle, Madrid City Council's Tourism Delegate, said, "We open the year with the most important international event in the sector; FITUR is the major meeting that sets the guidelines for the year to maintain the positive momentum that the sector is currently experiencing. We close this year with very positive figures for the city of Madrid, as well as for all of Spain. From the City of Madrid, we will continue working to consolidate tourism that contributes a positive impact to the entire value chain of the sector."
The Deputy Minister of Culture, Tourism, and Sports of the Community of Madrid, Daniel Martínez, has stated, "We welcome this edition of FITUR at the best tourist moment in the Community of Madrid, as the weight of the sector has risen to 8% of the Madrid GDP. The Regional Government increases its resources by 29 million in the budget for 2024, focusing on economic freedom, public-private collaboration, and the development of the Tourism Strategy 2023-2026 of the Community of Madrid, which will have a 250 million investment over four years."
FITUR's specialisation and sustainability through its ten sections
FITUR continues to make progress in its specialisation, helping to promote the segments that have developed a tourism strategy around their activity. The main new addition this year is the creation, in conjnction with IMPULSA IGUALDAD of FITUR 4all, which will promote the development of accessible tourism and raise the profile of destination and company initiatives in this field through the 1st FITUR 4all Awards.
Another highlight is the commitment of FITUR Sports, being organised in collaboration with AFYDAD and with the global sponsorship of FRANCE 2024 OLYMPIC AND SPORTS DESTINATION. This section is expanding in terms of content, duration and participation and will show how sports tourism is a driver for sustainable tourism. Visitors will also be able to learn about all the latest developments in different areas, such as FITUR Techy, created together with ITH, where artificial intelligence, the data economy and the challenges of the hotel industry will be the protagonists; FITUR Cruisesdeveloped with Cruceroadicto, will be showcasing the commitment of cruise ships to environmental sustainability, the protection of destinations and the positive impact on their communities; FITUR LGTB+, a segment that encompasses more than 10% of tourists worldwide, will be shining a spotlight on diversity and inclusion; FITUR Womanin collaboration with WOMEN LEADING TOURISM and the sponsorship of SEVILLE, aligned with SDG 5, contributes to the promotion of female leadership; FITUR Know How & Export, a space created with SEGITTUR in collaboration with ICEX for Spanish tourism companies to showcase their potential, products and services and contribute to innovation in the sector, which this year brings as a new addition, the competition 'The AI for Tourism Awards 2024; FITUR Screen which returns with the assistance of the SPAIN FILM COMISSION will be connecting the film industry with the tourism industry; FITUR Talent, organised in collaboration with EDUCACIÓN 3.0, is presented as a monographic section on talent, education and professional training with a focus on the coexistence between people and artificial intelligence; and FITUR Lingua, the space that approaches the opportunities of language tourism and its work in the decentralisation and deseasonalisation of tourism, developed together with FEDELE.
These ten sections are joined by the FITUR Sustainability Observatory, FITUR Nextwhich this year is sponsored by ENRIQUE TOMÁS. The Observatory works throughout the year to identify best practices that generate positive effects and are replicable around a sustainability theme, which this year is the contribution of tourism to the revitalisation of territories.
In addition, FITUR will continue to make progress in digitisation by offering all the sections' conference programmes via streaming and making the FITUR Live Connectdigital platform available to its professional participants.
Finally, and following the roadmap initiated in 2023, IFEMA MADRID is once again measuring FITUR's carbon footprint in scopes 1 and 2 as a sign of its commitment to sustainability and its commitment to promoting events with a low environmental impact.
Ecuador, FITUR 2024 Partner Country
At FITUR, Ecuador will be presenting its tourism offer to the world, rich in geographical and cultural diversity and with excellent air connections to Spain. The Ecuadorian stand, located in Hall 3 will house a sensory variety for discovering the country's nature and culture, supported by the 'Time to Reset in Ecuador' campaign. In addition to an interesting display, it will provide Ecuadorian companies with the chance to connect with the international sector, thanks to the interesting opportunity it represents in terms of attracting inbound tourism.
Weekend at FITUR
Over the weekend, the Fair opens its doors to the general public, who will be able to travel the world through the nine halls, obtain information on an extraordinary range of international and national destinations and enjoy a varied agenda of leisure activities prepared by the exhibitors, including the installation by Puerto Rico of a zip line in the central avenue of IFEMA MADRID. It is also complemented by other activities such as the cruise ship section's gymkhana, padel demonstrations at FITUR Sports, as well as multiple activities on stands and in halls such as musical performances, regional dances, food tasting events, craft workshops, competitions and prize draws, etc.