Here we bring you a post on our experience in FITUR 2017, the most important fair of the tourism sector in Spain. A great experience that, undoubtedly, is worth repeating, and we will.
During the days that took place, the fair of Madrid was filled with professionals of the sector. It was, clearly, the ideal place for the meeting, for a few days, with people from almost every country in the world. We went through the ten enormous pavilions, where the traditional came together with the exotic and the old with the modern, with the feeling of traveling around the five continents of the world without leaving the same enclosure.
FITUR is a must and a great opportunity to establish business relations. In our case, we were able to make the most of our visit thanks to previous work. When you register as a professional visitor on the IFEMA website, you can arrange meetings with other professionals in the tourism sector, and have the certainty that they will be able to attend you because the pace of work there is vertiginous. Our interest was to be able to see, greet and establish contact with all the countries and companies that use a .travel domain for their website. Many were present and it was a fantastic opportunity to get to know and explain the project we are carrying out for the ten years of .travel.
The morning of Wednesday the 18th started in the American Pavilion where we found the Argentina.travel booth. This year Argentina has had an outstanding presence as a partner of FITUR with an important showcase for the promotion of its destination and thus becoming the most visible to visitors. We had the opportunity to know more about the great variety of natural wonders that the country has, such as the high summits of the Andes, the Iguazu Falls or the cold forests of Patagonia. We were able to taste samples of gastronomic products paired with national wines, recognized worldwide, and enjoy the beauty of their typical dances: tango, quartet and chacarera. In addition to all this, the Argentina booth had a space of 18 square meters, aimed at tourism for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgender people (LGBT). We were proud to see the logo of Argentina.TRAVEL throughout their booth.
Adventure tourism was at the forefront of Chile’s offer. Using the Chile.TRAVEL domain, it showed us its outdoor possibilities and its important biodiversity, from the Atacama Desert to the extreme south of Patagonia.
We continue to visit Colombia.TRAVEL, an authentic forest of partying, rhythms and flavors, which won it the prize for the best booth of FITUR 2017. With a large space of 420 square meters, the booth prepared by the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism with the support of ProColombia and Fontur, was a tribute to sustainable tourism. In it we could enjoy a salsa show, listen to traditional music or try their exquisite arepas and coffee.
Walking through the Latin American pavilion, we came across the banner for Honduras.TRAVEL, another very colorful and cheerful booth, exposing the kindness that the country possesses and the unforgettable experiences that can be realized in it.
VisitParaguay.TRAVEL also caught our attention with its colorful textiles and photographs of its nature. As we approached they told us about their tourism packages aimed at promoting sustainable tourism as well as domestic, in order to favor the economy of the country.
In another part, Peru.TRAVEL as one of the best culinary destinations in the world. Thus, during the days of the fair, different showcookings were made at the ‘Peru, Mucho Gusto’ bar so that lovers of Peruvian cuisine could learn to prepare dishes with superfoods (quinoa, purple corn, lucuma, aguaymanto, avocado ). We tried the traditional ceviche. Delicious!
And not to mention Mexico, another of the countries with great representation. With the help of Virtualware, its booth offered a spectacular visual image and immersed the attendees in an interactive experience that took them on a trip to paradisiacal beaches or magical Mayan localities. We had time to enjoy the music of the Mariachi de los Charros de Jalisco and establish contact with the representatives of Turismo de Puebla.TRAVEL and Querétaro.TRAVEL.
And we ended the morning at El Salvador.TRAVEL that received the Excelencias Award for the La Montañona Tourist Circuit, a further achievement in the international tourism sector.
In the afternoon we immersed ourselves in the different autonomous communities of Spain, with the islands that use a .travel domain to promote tourism deserving our special attention. Thus we approach Illesbalears.TRAVEL, where we found a Mediterranean style booth with the goal to highlight the beauty of its islands in the winter months.
And what about Ibiza.TRAVEL? They had a booth for them alone and it took us more than 20 minutes to be able to speak with a representative who could attend to us because of the large number of people and media interested in them. The booth combined a display of handmade crafts and presentations of more current offerings, such as the second edition of the Ibiza Light Festival. Among all its activities, we should highlight the most curious: the photomaton, where visitors could leave with a magnetized photo with a background of Ibiza, to be able to stick on the fridge. We have ours!
Strolling through the crowds of people we arrived at the Canary Islands, where videos and images in large format stood out for their quality and appearance, and so we had to stop and visit it. Also a large contribution of wines, cheeses, potatoes, mojo sauce, gofio flour … there were tastings every day.
We focused our attention on Elhierro.TRAVEL and Lagomera.TRAVEL, which arrived at the fair with a new presentation focused on learning about their natural, cultural and gastronomic values through the five senses. We were able to talk to them about the promotional activities they are implementing to make this new presentation, and they were delighted to share them with us and that the official site of .travel helped them join efforts.
Thus ended an intense Wednesday. We went to sleep satisfied with the work done and organized the working day for Thursday. We only had one more day at the fair to finish visiting all the booths that were showing off our .travel domain. The reception of the first day could not have been better, and we were convinced that the rest of the countries that we had yet to visit … were also full of pleasant surprises.
Other destinations awaited us on Thursday. Rested and with renewed energy we returned to FITUR to see other pavilions, and other booths of countries that used the .travel domain for their website. A warm coffee to endure the low temperatures of January … and we’re off to walk the Asian continent. An explosion of colors to promote the tourist attractions of Indonesia.TRAVEL. The largest archipelago in the world has many heavenly beaches and is wealthy in culture, races, languages, religions and landscapes, because … Indonesia is diversity!
We were delighted by the pleasant reception to Srilanka.TRAVEL … Incredible beaches and ocean floors, healthy food, the option to practice sports at sea, visit monuments included in the World Heritage … Sri Lanka is one of those countries that offers all of that and more! The attractive booth, the warm people … another beneficial contact and off we go.
Three states in Malaysia – Perak, Pahang and Terengganu were prepared to welcome visitors with a great celebration with many exciting events and festivals. That is how we were greeted by Malaysia.TRAVEL where its gastronomy was the star and the appeal of the booth. Do you know the Char kway teow? It means ‘strips of sauteed rice dough’. You sauté rice noodles and mix with chilli, eggs, prawns, cockles and vegetables. We tried it and what can we say! Exquisite!
We were also warmly welcomed at the Kazakhstan.TRAVEL booth, which mainly promoted the Astana 2017 Expo at FITUR, scheduled to begin in the country’s capital on June 10 under the theme “Energy of the Future”.
After a little chat with them and talking about our project, we were drawn to the Georgia.TRAVEL booth. A good destination for nature lovers or for people interested in the culture of a region that was always strategic in the trade between Asia and Europe.
Another emerging destination for the European market, with a great cultural heritage and using the .travel domain was Armenia.TRAVEL. Its capital, Yerevan, happens to be one of the oldest cities in the world (founded in 782 BC) and Lake Sevan, one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. We leave with the promise of knowing a little more and spread the word through our communication channels.
Before making a stop to eat, we came to the conclusion that many places in Southeast Asia are positioning themselves as very attractive options to spend a happy holiday away from the central European urban environments, and our domain helps to build bridges between the different tourism markets worldwide.
Europe was waiting for us, and that’s where we went. The hosts of Romania.TRAVEL were at our disposal to show us their historical regions, their castles, their monasteries, their medieval villages as well as their impressive refineries and caves.
The representatives from Poland.TRAVEL were also delighted to welcome us and informed us of everything we needed and invited us to taste typical Polish products such as Sobieski vodka, or enjoy the typical Polish dance, “La Polonesa”. Without a doubt, a great opportunity to discover a little more of their culture.
Russia.TRAVEL was looking strong at Fitur showing the benefits of its very diverse nature and its unique cultural and historical things. A large and crowded booth showcased the most famous tourist sites in Russia, including Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Direct to the stand of Slovakia.TRAVEL to know the benefits of this country.
The African continent was one of the main attractions of the Fair. Their intense tastes, colors and smells of their more traditional spices and sweets and the awakening of a deep curiosity for the African culture, music and traditions took us over as we passed the pavilion.
According to official data 80 million international tourists landed in some part of the continent. Beach tourism like in the Seychelles are the main attractions for Western tourists. What a pleasure to see the wonderful tropical islands under the Seychelles.TRAVEL domain! This coveted tourist destination was promoted by showing the world the exceptional beauty of its islands located in the middle of the ocean. For these islands, tourism represents the pillar of their economy and, therefore, they feel compelled to cultivate this important industry and ensure that they always remain in the minds of travelers as the preferred choice for their next tropical vacation. We are satisfied, because .travel helps them towards this globalization in the sector.
Although most tourists visited already consolidated destinations like Egypt. The Tourist Office of Egypt had an incredible booth to expose its culture, traditions and gastronomy with the aim of promoting tourism towards this unique country. We were able to learn about their tourism promotional offers, get a typical souvenir and leave with the contacts of the marketing management team of Egypt.TRAVEL; wrote them down to follow up with them once we arrived at the office.
We finished the intense day with visits to the booths of Capetown.TRAVEL and Ghana.TRAVEL. Luxury safaris, luxury hotels, luxury campsites … an authentic entertainment for the eye and a good experience to have had the opportunity to talk to them closely.
At seven o’clock in the afternoon thus ended 48 hours of travel where we moved through all continents. There were some absentees that we would have liked to seen, it is true, like Germany.travel or Ecuador.travel, but we will have the opportunity to visit them, the year has just begun. We left Fitur 2017 very satisfied, certainly a great show of light and color that awakens anybody the desire to travel the entire world, allows us to approach other cultures and establish contacts more than useful with the main players in the tourism sector. Until next year!