Madrid tourism fair FITUR 2022 opens amid recovery hopes

Bol News  |  Jan 20, 2022

MADRID, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) — The International Tourism Fair FITUR 2022 opened its doors at the IFEMA Convention Center here on Wednesday to ensure support for the tourism sector at a critical time for its full recovery from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event, open until Jan. 23, brings together almost 7,000 tourism companies and 60,000 professionals globally.

The organizers expect 30,000 visitors, who will be asked to follow strict health regulations, such as wearing face masks, washing their hands and respecting the limits on crowd size in the IFEMA pavilions.

FITUR 2022 comes after a tough year for tourism that saw a timid recovery of the sector in comparison with 2020, but with tourist levels still well below the pre-pandemic levels of 2019.

For example, Spain’s tourism revenues totalled 88.55 billion euros (100.4 billion U.S. dollars) last year, 36 billion euros more than in 2020 but over 40 percent less than in 2019. In 2021, tourism generated 7.4 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), which was also well below the 12.4 percent figure in 2019.

FITUR is “starting very strongly,” Spain’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism Reyes Maroto said in an interview on Wednesday morning, emphasizing that the sector was “working so that 2022 is not just the year in which we are able to consolidate our recovery, but in which we can give an impulse to the tourism model.”

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