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At the opening of FITUR’s 42nd edition, 19 January 2022


by Jack Wright


Somehow it’s comforting that on its 42nd  year FITUR went ahead and held a real people-with-people trade fair instead of a disheartening virtual. This sends a clear message that tourism must not remain grounded but must instead learn to coexist with safety protocols in a world of new normal.

FITUR (Feria Internacional de Turismo), held between 19 and 23 January at IFEMA, Madrid, had the unique privilege of kick-starting the year’s tourism fairs around the world. From that vantage point, it is bound to set the mood for the year.

107 countries and all 17 Autonomous Communities of Spain were present.

FITUR boasted some 7000 participants, including companies and destinations from 107 countries and all the 17 autonomous communities of Spain. Head-on, it has met the challenge of reinstating tourism as a key engine for economic development much more so in the aftermath of the pandemic. For the purpose, the organizers had envisioned a robust and decisive fair, one that generates trust and optimism in the sector. And they have achieved the goal.

For its intrinsic worth, FITUR is an annual fair to reckon with, being the most important trade fair for inbound and outbound markets in Latin America. It is a leading business forum for the global tourism industry. Because of its farflung geographic reach, it has been able to count on the presence of more than 1,700 media in its 2022 edition, thereby guaranteeing global exposure.

Partnering with the Dominican Republic. Every FITUR edition selects a Partner Country. The Dominican Republic was the Partner Country of FITUR’s 42nd (2022) edition. What this meant was that the Caribbean country enjoyed prominence and strategic visibility at the fair. Its major tourism attractions were showcased especially in relation to the European and Asian markets where there’s a huge room for growth.

King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia (the King is partly hidden behind the Queen) inaugurate the trade fair. The President of the Autonomous Community of Castilla-La Mancha, Emilio García-Page Sánchez, right, converses with the Queen.

The Dominican Republic is a world reference when it comes to managing tourism activity during the pandemic. Thus, it didn’t start from scratch at the FITUR.

The five exciting days of FITUR 2022 were days of countless opportunities for making new contacts, renewing old ones, making new deals and starting new projects. In short, FITUR, at any and all of its editions, is synonymous with the expansion of tourism networks.

As usual, FITUR was held in Madrid where the United Nations World Tourism Organization is headquartered.


Images/Emilio García-Page Sánchez, CC BY-SA2.0