FITUR prepares the 2020 edition
The International Tourism Fair organized by IFEMA will celebrate its 40th anniversary in the next edition. South Korea will be the partner country
In 1981 FITUR was born as a platform for a tourist Spain that opened to the world. And, since then, for the next four decades, it has always been at the service of the tourism industry. The Spanish tourism sector, considered at the moment the most competitive on the planet, has led our country to become the second destination for international tourist arrivals and tourism revenues, and its fair, FITUR, has acted, progressively, as a revitalizer. of the Spanish and global industry.
In these 40 years, the evolution of FITUR has occurred in parallel to the development of the Spanish tourism industry. The eighties saw the birth and consolidation of the fair, while the tourism sector was going through a time of crisis and subsequent consolidation. The first edition of the contest, in 1981, already had the support of the entire sector, Administrations, UNWTO, Tourism Board, CEOE, etc., and the following year was inaugurated by the Kings of Spain. During that decade there were events such as the constitution in 1980 of the Tourism Council of the CEOE and the employers' association of hoteliers Zontur; the creation in 1984 of Inprotur (in 1990 it would be renamed Turespaña); and the declaration in 1988 of the Camino de Santiago as “First European Cultural Itinerary”.
In 1990 Spain was already third in the world due to international tourist arrivals. And FITUR had passed in 1981 with 1,500 exhibiting companies from 37 countries and 3,000 professional visitors to count in 1990 a total of 3,257 companies from 134 countries and 30,032 professional visitors.
Specialization in the 90s
The decade of the nineties attended the expansion and specialization of FITUR, while the sector experienced its second tourist boom. In 1992 the fair was held at the new IFEMA fairgrounds; In 1994, FITUR Active was created, and in 2000, FITUR Congresos was created and the first FITUR Tribuna Jorge Vila Fradera awards are failed. In this same decade the sector registered milestones such as the Schengen Treaty, in 1995; in 1996 the Official Tourism Studies were incorporated into the University; in 1998 Spain was second in the world as a recipient of visitors, with more than 40 million international arrivals, and in 2000 the Spanish Tourism Quality Integral Plan (PICTE) was approved and the Institute for Spanish Tourism Quality (ICTE) was established ). In 2000, FITUR had 7,933 exhibiting companies from 170 countries and 71,331 professional visitors.
Between 2001 and 2008, FITUR deepened internationalization and technology, while the tourism sector began to face innovation and sustainability as challenges of the new century. Among the milestones of the fair are 31 new official participations and the development of new applications on the FITUR website: Professional Meeting Point (PEP); Online pre-registration; Appointment Manager; APP FITUR, and the FITURNEWS online newsletter. The sector faced, meanwhile, events such as the opening of OETS in Beijing, Singapore, Moscow and Warsaw; the creation in 2002 of the Alliance for Tourism Excellence (Exceltur); and the transformation of UNWTO into a specialized agency of the UN. Spain maintained the holiday leadership, with more than 55 million arrivals, its second worldwide place for tickets and income, and the new tourism portal of Spain was presented: spain.info. In 2008, FITUR already had 13,530 exhibiting companies from 170 countries and 157,299 professional visitors.
Internationalization and sustainability
The period between 2009 and 2018 was marked by the crisis but also by the beginning of the transformation of the sector favored by technology and with the focus on sustainability. A period in which FITUR is also advancing firmly in areas such as B2B, and the creation, already in 2018, of the B2B space specialized in meeting tourism FITUR MICE; new areas of specialization, such as LGBT, Health, Know-How & Export, Festivals, and technology, in its Fiturtechy sections (Future, Sustainability, Business, Destination) as well as in 5G applications for the creation of the prototype “Augmented Fair” developed by the first ID laboratory, IFEMA LAB, together with Telefónica, IMDEA and Ericsson. Meanwhile, there were milestones such as the organization in 2012 of the first Exceltur Forum; the impulse by SEGITTUR in 2013 of FITUR Know-How & Export, and by ITH of Fiturtechy.
Between 2015 and 2017, Spain was recognized by the World Economic Forum as the country with the most competitive tourism sector, and in 2017 the UNWTO declared the International Year of Sustainable Tourism, with FITUR being the platform for its launch.
In the last two years FITUR has continued to deepen the concepts of diversification and sustainability, and working on the internationalization of the fair. In this sense, and its vocation to integrate new market niches that represent growth and expansion for the tourism industry, it has developed the new FITUR FESTIVALES and FITUR CINE monographic sections, dedicated to connecting the tourism industry with the musical and cinematographic industry, respectively. In addition, it has created the FITUR NEXT observatory, which in the next three years will act as a platform to identify, analyze and disseminate tourism models that generate positive impact on visitor experiences, residents' lives, destination development and the balance of the planet. In 2019, the International Tourism Fair celebrated its most international edition with 10,487 companies from 165 countries and more than 253,000 participants (142,642 professionals).