The first major tourism event of 2024 is about to kick off!

The first major tourism event of 2024 is about to kick off! 

Fitur opens its doors today in Madrid with its 44th edition, from Wednesday 24th January to Sunday 28th January.  The organisers of the fair estimate that the pre-pandemic levels of attendance, before the impact of the coronavirus, will be fully recovered and a total of 250,000 attendees will be registered over the five days of the International Tourism Fair.

The year 2024 looks set to be an exciting one for the tourism industry, consolidating its recovery. In retrospect, 2023 proved to be a pivotal period for the travel industry, despite the challenges arising from the war in Ukraine, the energy crisis and inflation. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) The UNWTO has reported a significant rebound in global tourism, with a 38% increase and 975 million international tourists accounted for between January and September 2023. The third quarter of 2023 saw a 22% increase, driven by a booming summer in the northern hemisphere. Moreover, it projects a trajectory close to 90% of pre- pandemic levels by the end of 2024.

In this context, FITUR 2024 stands as a key milestone for the sector, marking the path towards a sustained recovery beyond the pre-pandemic era. Although continued growth is anticipated, it is likely to be at a more moderate pace, influenced by factors such as the expected rise in interest rates to control persistent inflation and a possible moderation in spending after the previous year’s boom.

The experience of the pandemic has had a profound effect on the habits of Spanish travellers, who now approach their journeys with a heightened technological perspective. Social media plays an essential role in the search for inspiration, and today’s travellers are more demanding than ever. The expectation of unique experiences has become a non-negotiable priority.

In terms of international travel from Spain, the country has maintained a prominent position as an outbound market, contributing to the global upturn in tourism. This active role is reflected in the steady increase in tourist spending in the main outbound markets. However, tourism brands face the challenge and opportunity of adapting to this new traveller profile, cognizant of the macroeconomic challenges that lie ahead in 2024.

Never has it been more vital for tourism companies to meet this challenge and strive to deliver extraordinary experiences that captivate travellers. In a world flooded with information, commercial impact and noise, back-to-source and unique experiences are vital to achieve the goals set.

Maria Sánchez-Grela

Managing Director

Interface Tourism Spain

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