Madrid, Jan 19 (EFE).- The 42nd edition of the International Tourism Fair (Fitur) kicked off Wednesday, bringing together some 107 countries and around 7,000 firms in the Spanish capital Madrid.
The fair, which runs until January 23, seeks to help rebuild the tourism industry and increase the number of visitors almost two years after the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
Although the sector does not expect tourism to bounce back to pre-Covid levels until 2023, experts believe that figures in 2022 will be close to those of 2019, especially in spring, when the impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant, which broke a streak of progressive growth that began in May, is brought under control.
Aiming to spearhead this re-launch, Fitur opted for face-to-face participation this year but also kept the online format that was adopted in the 2021 edition.
With the Dominican Republic a special partner at the event, Madrid is set to welcome 90,000 people, 60,000 of them industry professionals, between Thursday and Sunday. The fair will be open to the general public over the weekend.
With some 600 exhibitors and 6,933 companies, figures are still far from those registered in the 2020 edition, just before the pandemic broke out, when more than 900 exhibitors, 11,000 companies, 165 nations, and 250,000 visitors took part in the event.