Now is the time to consider the next annual International Tourism and Trade fair. Held in Madrid, FITUR will celebrate its 33rd edition from January 30th to February 3rd, 2013. It is the global meeting point for tourism professionals and the leading trade fair for inbound and outbound Iberico American markets.
In 2012, confirming the initial steps towards recovery in the industry, over 9500 companies from 167 countries and regions attended the fair earlier this year. Around 120,000 participants and 90,000 from the general public attended FITUR to continue the ongoing rise of Spain’s leisure industry and attendant businesses. All the signs are that the next one will host even more.
Furthermore, there were over 6000 journalists from 54 countries and the task as always is to represent Spain as one of the leading destinations for tourism. The total turnout demonstrates that FITUR remains as one of the most important events on the international tourist circuit.


Despite the eurozone crisis and Spain’s economic state and unemployment, 2012 looks to be one of Spain’s most successful years for tourism. The expectation is to see a rise in the 57 million foreign tourists who visited in 2011. Even that year saw an 8.1% increase over the previous year. As usual great Britain and Germany made up the largest increase rising some 9% and 3% respectively for each country.
Spain is not the only country to be going through difficult times. It is also happening in practically every other country that affects the number of people visiting this country and we should take full advantage of this fact. It still represents the best value for money and the best climate for those people wishing to enjoy their holidays and leisure and it must be our business to ensure that this continues.
Spain has always been a major draw as the fourth most visited country in the world therefore, this criteria is not surprising. Particularly regarding the English, where an estimated 750,000 live in Spain, The Iberian peninsula, warmer weather, beautiful beaches and the still cheaper cost of living has been a draw for Europeans for decades.
Following what was called the Arab spring, those people who began visiting particularly the middle east are now looking back again towards Spain. The volatile situation in that eastern area means that people are hesitant to go there now and during the coming year.

This will help the Spanish hotel industry in its recovery which will be good news for all concerned. It is a promising sign not just for Spain but for the EU as consumers will feel more confident in saving for their holidays abroad and our country in particular.
What we do not want to see are widespread strikes. Times are difficult with the increase in unemployment in Spain but tourism accounts for around 10% of the Spanish GDP. It is one of the important factors in this country’s economy and will continue to be so in spite of any internal problems. Therefore it is vitally important that we service our visitors in the best possible way or we will lose them to those countries offering less expensive new tourist destinations. Particularly around the eastern Mediterranean.
Regarding FITUR, Andulusia will continue to be the main attraction. Following its last presentation with an entire building dedicated to showing every aspect of its wonderful offerings, the coming fair will undoubtedly continue to feature classic guitar, flamenco dancers and its wonderful food and friendly people.


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