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12 January 2022

FITUR defends the coexistence of tourism and health safety

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It thus sends a clear message that tourism must continue ahead and learn to live safely with this new situation, which is essential in order to continue leading economic and social development within this context of recovery.

This leads IFEMA MADRID to again commit to holding FITUR, from the 19 to 23 January, which will be decisive in generating trust in the market, promoting the travel sector and proving the importance of business travel. IFEMA MADRID will strengthen health controls and will take all of the precautions that guarantee that FITUR will be held in a safe space. The trade fair brings together 6,933 participants, with the presence of all of the Autonomous Communities, as well as companies and destinations from 107 countries, 70 of them with official international representation, and headed by the Dominican Republic, which this year is participating as FITUR PARTNER 2022. FITUR 2022 will host the première of the HELIXA Experience Centre installation, as part of the IFEMA MADRID project to burst into the metaverse.

The International Tourism Fair FITUR 2022 will hold its 42nd edition from the 19 to 23 January, taking a step forward, aware of the need for tourism to be reinstated in its leadership as engine for economic and social development, within a key context of worldwide recovery after the pandemic. IFEMA MADRID wishes to draw attention to the need for both the tourism activity and business tourism to safely coexist with this new situation and to adapt its environments to measures and protocols that will have to become habits in the immediate future.

To this end, FITUR is going ahead with a major event, paving the way to adapting its international trade fair to a new “normal” that will enable

the entire value chain of the tourism industry to meet, and will contribute to restarting activities worldwide. This will be a robust and decisive edition, to generate trust in the market and to prove the potential of tourism as a generator of wealth and employment. To guarantee the utmost trust, and taking into account the high vaccination rate in Spain and other countries as a further guarantee, IFEMA MADRID has again set up an event environment that is fully safe health wise, supported by strict protocols and safety measures, and by a setting of trust in the management of public health.

FITUR 2022 in numbers

The response to FITUR as a whole has been excellent, as proven by the high representation at this edition, both national and international, with numbers that place the fair in parameters that are very close to pre-pandemic numbers. Eight of the halls will be used (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10), comprising a net surface area of 56,700 square metres, where all of the autonomous Communities will be represented, with their wide variety of Spanish destinations, new companies, and a significant international presence, with the participation of 107 countries, between destinations and companies, of which 70 are attending with official representation. In total FITUR will host 600 main exhibitors and will bring together 6,933 participants

FITUR will also continue with its hybrid format, which complements in-person participation by destinations and companies with a digital platform that provides added value for professional participants, and the chance to expand networking opportunities between exhibitors and visitors. FITUR LIVEConnect will be operational from the 20 December to the 4 February.

HELIXA Experience Centre, introduction to the tourism sector

Coinciding with FITUR and through its innovation hub IFEMA MADRID Lab, IFEMA MADRID will be presenting to tourism sector companies and professionals its collaborative platform for knowledge and innovation, HELIXA, which was designed to inspire and accompany businesses in the transformation and evolution towards the new models of activity and business brought about by the metaverses. The platform, which will be a focal point within FITUR, also aims to promote the convergence of technologies to present the corporate and entrepreneurial community on all platforms and mixed and virtual realities, and to help them create value. HELIXA Experience Centre will premiere for its visitors the creation of their personalised hyper-realist 3D#serieszero avatar, that will allow them to interact on digital platforms and in the metaverse.

Dominican Republic, FITUR Partner Country

The Dominican Republic is this year’s FITUR PARTNER COUNTRY, which means highlighted participation, prominence and visibility for this Caribbean destination during this strategic edition to promote the country’s major tourism attractions. 

Under the slogan “Dominican Republic has it all” the Dominican Republic is going to have a very high visibility showcase to the world, and especially for the European and Asian markets, where the country has a huge potential for growth.  Professionals will find a wide array of content from this Caribbean country, which has become a world reference in managing tourism activity during the pandemic. It also has ambitious plans to consolidate the recovery of the flow of tourism to the country and continuously improve traveller experiences, accommodation, transportation, leisure activities, preservation of history and culture, as well as meeting and convention facilities to promote MICE tourism.

Monographic areas and sections

As every year at FITUR, aspects pertaining to innovation, technology and digital transformation will play a fundamental part, as well as issues on sustainable development and accessibility, and there will be a full display of all the specialised segments and tourism modalities that boost the market. 

All verticals will again be represented in the various sections, areas and forums during this edition, which will see the introduction of FITUR CRUISES. During this first edition it will only be held on Saturday and will introduce cruise tourism, its challenges, opportunities and new experiences for the FITUR public, in collaboration with the specialised online magazine, 

FITURTECHY will again surprise us thanks to its capability for innovation. Dedicated to spreading awareness and innovation and this year organised in collaboration with the Instituto Tecnológico Hotelero (ITH), it will provide an innovative vision during a time of change for the tourism sector, through its four forums on businesses, destinations, sustainability and future trends.

 FITUR KNOW HOW & EXPORT, organised by SEGITTUR and with the collaboration of the ICEX, will celebrate its tenth anniversary by showcasing the innovative knowledge of the Spanish tourism industry, highlighting the strategy of Smart Tourism Destinations, the object of which is to promote innovation and sustainability in tourism and the internationalisation of Spanish tourism SMEs.

FITUR MICE will again provide the opportunity within FITUR for the MICE industry to contact its potential clients in Corporations, Associations, Incentives companies, Business Travel companies and events and conference organisers.

FITUR SCREEN, an area aiming to connect the tourism and cinema industries, co-organised with Spain Film Commission, will raise awareness on film tourism, promoting business exchanges between the various ecosystem agents and formulating proposals for the future development of this sector.

FITUR LGBT+, this year with the slogan “Working towards inclusive tourism“, hosts destinations, companies, hotel chains, airlines and tour operators that have specific offers for the LGBT clientèle, for less seasonal trips and tourism habits.

FITUR TALENT will this year analyse the situation and talent management in organisations and companies over the last two years, affected by the paralysis due to COVID-19 and the necessary reactivation. Talent drain in the sector, “Silver” talent, the new strategies to motivate and compensate employees are some of the subjects that will be discussed in this forum. 

FITUR WOMAN, organised with the collaboration of WOMEN LEADING TOURISM – WLT will offer a meeting point for awareness-raising, discussion and dialogue that will contribute to promoting the role of women in this industry, from a standpoint of leadership and sustainability.

FITUR LINGUA, focuses on Language Tourism, a segment that has ample potential for growth, especially in the case of Spain, but also in other destinations that attract visitors to learn the language.

TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY comprises a large part of the specialised technology proposals at the service of tourism companies, with the latest solutions, developments and tools that will establish the future trends.

The FITUR NEXT Observatory dedicated to promoting good tourism practises regarding sustainability, and which this year analyses the contribution of tourism to an accessible society, will present the TUR4all, Albastar and COCEMFE initiatives that received awards in the three categories being promoted in this edition: new technologies for accessible tourism, tourism services and complementary inclusive proposals, and management and furthering accessibility in the sector, respectively. There will also be a schedule of presentations with participation by experts in accessibility and inclusion in tourism.

FITUR will also be the centre for major events pertaining to tourism, among these the 11th Forum on Tourism Leadership by EXCELTUR with an unbeatable panel of worldwide and national corporate leaders who establish global guidelines in the sector, and the 24th edition of CIMET, which will bring together the main Latin American tourism ministers and entrepreneurs. Both events will be held on the 18 January, as a prelude to FITUR.

Awards and recognitions

There will be many awards and recognitions with which IFEMA MADRID, FITUR and various organisations wish to highlight the hard work in developing tourism activities in various fields. For the second time, FITUR will be giving out the “Sustainable Stand” Award, organised in collaboration with the Instituto de Turismo Responsable (ITR), to highlight the effort by exhibiting companies to make their presence at FITUR environmentally-friendly and prevent climate change, contribute to favouring social and cultural aspects, as well as to reference matters of governance and economy. Additionally, the 23rd edition of the Tribuna FITUR-Jorge Vila Fradera award, organised in collaboration with the Spanish Association of Tourism Science Experts (AECIT), aims to improve competitiveness based on knowledge, and will award research on tourism, in order to publicise it in the academic world. Both awards will be chosen during FITUR.

We then have the Turismo AireLibre Competition, organised by FITUR and the magazine AireLibre, to enhance development and marketing of the tourism industry and to publicise the highest quality tourism products within the active tourism field; ‘The Chatbots Tourism Awards 2021’ organised by SEGITTUR within FITUR KNOW HOW & EXPORT, to seek out the best chatbots/voiceapps and conversational technology solutions, both national and international, implemented by tourism destinations and companies to improve traveller experience, and the ‘AMT Smart Destinations Awards’ by the Instituto Tecnológico Hotelero, ITH that will reward, within FITURTECHY, the best national technological solutions and tools that will allow tourism destinations to face the challenges of starting up and developing a smart tourism destination. 

The weekend at FITUR

As every year, on Saturday and Sunday, this year the 22 and 23 January, FITUR will open its doors to the public, who will have the chance to discover the proposals from destinations and regions all around the world, and to enjoy, with all safety measures in place, the activities offered by some of the sections and stands in this edition.

Strict safety protocols

In order to guarantee that FITUR is held normally, IFEMA MADRID will tighten health controls and all safety measures. Within a context of high vaccination levels in Spain, FITUR 2022 will require all participants to show proof of at least one of these requirements: 

EU Digital Covid Certificate; QR Spain Travel Health; a negative PCR test or Antigen test performed within the 24 hours prior to the first access to FITUR.

EU country citizens may show the EU Digital Certificate, as well as those citizens who are located or reside legally in a member State and are entitled to travel to other member States; also, citizens of countries and territories that have joined the EU Digital Covid Certificate.

On the other hand, in order to access FITUR Citizens of Third Countries who have not adopted this Certificate will need to meet the same requirements as established by Spain to enter the country, and which allow them to obtain the QR Spain Travel Health. 

If none of these requirements are met, attendees will be asked to submit a negative COVID - PCR or Antigen Test, performed within 24 hours prior to their first control at FITUR. These tests may be performed at IFEMA MADRID thanks to the health facility installed to this purpose.

As in the 2021 edition, there will also be strict protocols and systems to guarantee safety for all exhibitors and visitors, validated by the Council for Health of the Community of Madrid. Capacities will be checked in all halls, with automated person-counting systems, and a digital smart system to analyse areas, capacities and behaviour by attendees, checking crowds at all times, in addition to mandating the use of FFP2 face mask to access FITUR, and temperature checks that are implemented at all events.

There will also be strict protocols in the hospitality section, with ample areas set aside for these purposes outside of the buildings.

The IFEMA MADRID facilities have also been equipped with advanced and powerful ventilation systems that guarantee the elimination of air recirculation, that filter it and perform a full renewal every 20 minutes, preventing pathogens from spreading. These measures are also aided by the organisation of people traffic and the distribution of spaces to guarantee social distancing; the distribution of sanitising gel and disinfectants throughout all of the facilities, and the use of digital passes to avoid contact.  

 FITUR '22 has the backing of the Madrid Regional Government under a collaboration agreement with IFEMA MADRID. This agreement aims to support companies undergoing digital transformation and internationalisation and achieve the goal shared by both institutions: to promote Madrid economically and internationally.