The International Tourism Fair 2012 (FITUR) opened yesterday in Madrid covering 75,000 square metres, over 9 pavilions and with 9,500 companies participating.
Although the numbers sound impressive there are almost 1,000 fewer exhibitors than at last years event. There is also a reduction in the amount of space used for the exhibition as a result of budget cuts within various public offices.
FITUR is held each year to bring tourism professionals together and to promote trade activity and is described as “a meeting point for tourism professionals in which they can establish lines of action, strategies and business alliances to energise and consolidate the tourism business, innovating to answer the changing demands of the market.”
Participation by businesses has increased by 4% with companies such as Iberostar, Oasis Hotels, Iberia, ADIF, AENA and RENFE reinforcing their presence at the show.
Of the cutbacks one of the biggest was registered in the autonomous communities. Murcia does not have a stand this year while Andalusia, whilst still represented, is on a reduced budget. Castilla-La Mancha has also reduced its space at the exhibition, as have Benidorm and Ceuta whose budgets were reduced by half.
Organisers anticipate that this 32nd edition of the trade fair will attract similar numbers, or even higher, than in 2011, when attendance reached over 200,000. This contradicts comments from the French public tourism promotion organisation who said they would not participate this year as it is more expensive (up 12.5%) and has fewer visitors (5% less than five years ago).
This years event was inaugurated by Don Felipe de Borbón and Doña Letizia Ortiz, the Prince and Princess of Asturias.