GCC trade seeks luxury leisure holidays

FITUR 2023, the 43rd edition of the international tourism fair, was organised in IFEMA Madrid, Spain, from 18 to 22 January. The largest tourism networking event in the world brought together more than 120,000 professionals and 90,000 visitors from 131 countries. Travel trade from GCC present at the fair targeted luxury leisure holidays for UAE tourists.

TT Bureau

Spain’s King Felipe and Queen Letizia inaugurated the 43rd edition of the International Tourism Fair, FITUR 2023, in IFEMA Madrid, Spain, on January 18. The Turespaña stand in Pavilion 9 of IFEMA had two auditoriums, four large format screens and an exhibition area, where a wide range of presentations, forums, debates, exhibitions and other activities were showcased. Daniel Rosado, Director, Spain Tourism GCC, shared, “Most of the Arab countries are present and exhibiting their tourist attractions at FITUR, but it is worth highlighting the wide variety of opportunities offered by both the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in the framework of their Vision 2030, has started to take historic steps such as the e-visa. For its part, the UAE is exhibiting at FITUR the boost it has given to the tourism sector over the last five years. IFEMA expects participation figures to be close to its all-time record, when it reached a total of 255,000 visitors in 2020, just before COVID-19. Specifically, growth of 32 per cent is estimated in all its parameters, rising to 50 per cent for the international area. In relation to international participation, the strongest growth is recorded in Asia-Pacific (163 per cent), Africa (88 per cent) and the Middle East (60 per cent).”

Balaji Ramgopal, COO, Al Arif Sons Travel, said, “Greetings from Madrid! I am thankful to the UAE Spain Tourism team for the support extended in my trip to attend FITUR event 2023. Our company Al Arif Sons Travel is one of the agencies specialized in curating luxury leisure holidays for UAE national families. Today is the first day of FITUR and I was very happy to witness such a mega event after the pandemic. The entry had very long ques. There were more than seven large pavilions of various destinations, flooded with exhibitors and buyers. South American destinations are in big focus due to Spanish speaking travellers. However, there are big exhibits of Asian and European countries as well. It was a great opportunity to meet some new and unique destinations’ partners. There were many cultural and gastronomical events during the show.”

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