- Özgür Töre
FITUR 2022, the International Tourism Trade Fair, has been organised by IFEMA MADRID. It has held a special tourism recovery edition since last Tuesday, 19th January, and closed its doors today.
The strong results highlight the efforts by the entire tourism industry value chain to generate new opportunities to be able to look forward to 2022 with strong expectations for the forecast recovery. This edition has been critical for recovering levels of business and turnover, has made Madrid the hub for the global international tourism community and has enabled us to convey a message of confidence and strength to the whole world.
The figures for FITUR 2022 have exceeded all initial expectations. On the one hand, trade participation over its first three days rose to 81,193 attendees from 127 countries, doubling the figures for the 2021 edition, in addition to general public visitors at the weekend that, even before the final closing today figures are in, are estimated at about 30,000 people, giving a grand total of 111,193 attendees. Online professional engagement at FITUR from around the world also achieved record figures. The FITUR LIVEConnect platform complements the Fair to provide a hybrid format over a more extended season and broader geographic scope. As of today, it has had 33,286 registrations, ten per cent above initial forecasts.
Traffic on FITUR’s website was up 90%, reaching 150,000 unique users, twice as many as in 2021.
The response from companies, countries and destinations has been excellent. It shows an upward trend in terms of representation, with figures approaching FITUR record attendances in past editions. This is evident in the 6,933 participants from 107 countries gathered at FITUR 2022. There were 600 exhibitors and official representation by seventy countries, led by the Dominican Republic, which this year, under the slogan Has it all, has deployed extraordinary resources and organised activities as FITUR Partner Country.
All these arrivals at FITUR have generated an economic impact for Madrid of approximately €150 million, announced the Madrid Regional Government’s President, Isabel Diaz Ayuso, last Friday on the occasion of FITUR’s Madrid Day.
Another feature has been the solid institutional backing for FITUR again this year. Spain’s Royal Family once again put the finishing touch to the opening day with the presence of Their Majesties, the King and Queen. The Prime Minister chose FITUR to announce the second edition of the Spanish Government’s Tourism Sustainability Plan. FITUR was also attended by UNWTO representatives, tourism ministers from 21 countries and four delegations, seven Spanish government ministers, regional presidents, tourism councillors from the Spanish regions and mayors from several Spanish towns and cities.
FITUR 2022’s impact has also been reflected in the extensive international media coverage of the Fair, with 3,981 accredited journalists from forty countries. Almost twice as many as in May 2021.
FITUR’s impact channels on social media also doubled, with more than six million impressions and 90,000 interactions with the Fair’s profiles, as a result of the 1,200 posts published on its channels to broadcast the event. The Fair currently has a community of more than 263,000 followers, of whom more than 8,000 joined this week. FITUR was a Trending Topic on Twitter for two consecutive days in Spain and one in the Dominican Republic, Fitur 2022 Partner Country. The online reach of the #Fitur2022 hashtag on all platforms topped 600 million potential impacts, making this edition the best to date on social media.
In addition to the wide-ranging content presented throughout the FITUR’s eight halls by the different companies, countries, and destinations, the Fair also hosted hundreds of activities, forums, presentations, and various initiatives to stimulate the market in its special-interest sections. These sections were FITURTECHY, FITUR KNOW-HOW & EXPORT, FITUR MICE, FITUR SCREEN, FITUR LGBT+, FITUR TALENT, FITUR WOMAN, and FITUR LINGUA, along with the TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY space, the FITUR NEXT Sustainability Observatory, and the début of FITUR CRUISES.
FITUR was also the platform for the public presentation of HELIXA Experience Center to tourism sector companies and professionals. HELIXA Experience Center is the result of IFEMA MADRID’s innovation programme to promote the adoption of cutting-edge technology in the trade fair business. HELIXA Experience Center is a collaboration platform for sharing knowledge and innovation, designed to inspire and mentor businesses in its transformation process and evolution towards new business models opened up by metaverses.