Last week the 36th edition of the International Tourism Trade Fair (FITUR) was held in Madrid, Spain, and 2 Open was a part of it.
Fitur is one of the biggest tourism fairs in the world and this year’s figures vouch for it:
- Almost 10,000 exhibitors from 165 countries
- 125,000 professionals generating thousands and thousands of business meetings
- 232,000 visitors
- 7,398 journalists from 60 countries
- The Spanish Queen inaugurating the fair followed by the Spanish President of the Government and 80 ministers and leading heads of tourism from the five continents
- It became trending topic with 150,000 international followers on the principal social platforms, 64 million users reached on Twitter; more than 35,000 tweets with the #FITUR2016 and #FITUR hashtag and more than 16,000 users re-tweeting about FITUR
- 10 huge pavilions
The Queen from Spain surrounded by journalists. Picture credit: www.embassyindia.es
We darted past the Queen of Spain towards our first meeting trying to dodge the hundreds of cameras pointing at her. We were 3 minutes late to our first meeting (out of the 25 arranged for the first two days) and time is exactly what you don’t have in FITUR. Everything is moving at full steam. Even though, we were able to meet old friends and actual customers which is greatly appreciated.
Apart of the fact that FITUR is just the perfect place to meet new potential customers or to find the professionals that can add value to your company in the tourism industry; I would personally highlight a few points that I find interesting:
- There is a very strong interest in health tourism; especially in China. A high percentage of the companies we met in FITUR were somehow related to health tourism and they were all very keen to expand their business to attract Chinese tourists or even to create a base in China. If you think about it, it is quite logical; In terms of population, around 120 million men and women are older than 65 years and the West might be able to get better response to certain illnesses and there is also the trust issue behind it: they trust foreign things better than the domestic ones and here is the huge opportunity knocking at the door
- Asia Pacific was very present in FITUR sharing pavilion with Europe
Chinese stand was always full
- The internationalization of smart tourist destinations and the importance of promoting innovation it is key to attract Chinese tourists and Digital will be the future to get there
- Despite being a booming sector among users, collaborative tourism had no place in FITUR. The term collaborative tourism, also known as “P2P tourism” (peer to peer, person to person) refers to a new tourist industry based on contacting individuals who offer their services to visitors who are interested in them. Despite being a new way of travel that has not been very well received by some of the traditional industry rulers, tourists are increasingly using it. But only one exhibitor was present at the fair. In China, P2P rentals for Chinese outbound tourism sector are increasing at an amazing pace. The question that I would raise in this post is the following one…
Is there a political reason behind all this, and if so, how do people intend to resolve this?
Anyway, we were extremely happy to assist, as we did last year, and for sure we are planning to be there next year. So don’t hesitate to join us and meet for a coffee talking about the future of Tourism in China. That is what we like to do!