Authorities were optimistic at Exceltur, a prelude to FITUR

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The Exceltur Forum was held yesterday with the motto “Rethinking post-covid tourism: new challenges, new perspectives”

The Minister of Tourism highlighted in Exceltur, the prelude to FITUR, that in 2022 the recovery of tourism in Spain will be consolidated.

The Third Vice President highlighted in the same forum the great capacity of Spanish tourism to lead sustainability.

The President of the Dominican Republic, a member country of FITUR 2022, presented this territory as a benchmark for Spanish tourism internationalization The President of the Popular Party assured that Spanish tourism is the best in the world and recalled that Spain is the first country in tourism competitiveness

The Mayor of Madrid proposed the consolidation of the recovery of tourism in the city, and its transformation as an urban destination.

The President of EXCELTUR advocated for processes that improve the differential attractiveness and sustainability of companies and destinations.

The President of IFEMA stated that FITUR will give visibility to the tourism sector and encouraged them to take advantage of the business and knowledge opportunities offered by the fair.

According to Maroto, between January and November 2021, Spain received around 28.2 million international tourists, spending more than 31.2 billion euros. “In the fourth quarter we will exceed 10.6 million international tourists, which represents 64% of the same period of 2019, but represents 5 times more than the volume we received in 2020. And for 2022 our forecasts are that the recovery of the tourism sector.

For her part, Teresa Ribera, Third Vice President of the Government and Minister for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge, highlighted “the commitment, understanding and internalization of the value of the tourism sector in the Spanish economy is one of the clearest on the part of the Government of Spain”. The Vice President, who spoke with Adolfo Utor, President of Balearia, about the leadership of a sustainable tourism transition, also pointed out that “the tourism sector in Spain has not only the potential but also the immense capacity to lead a process of sustainability and innovation”.

The Exceltur Forum was held yesterday with the motto “Rethinking post-covid tourism: new challenges, new perspectives”, prior to the International Tourism Fair, which begins today and will take place from January 19 to 23 at IFEMA MADRID .

Luis Abinader, Presidente de la República Dominicana, país socio de FITUR 2022, también participó en el Foro de Exceltur, donde habló sobre “Dominicana: un país referente de la internacionalización turística española”. En un dialogó con Encarna Piñero, CEO de Grupo Piñero, Abinader afirmó que “el turismo es fundamental para el desarrollo económico y social de la República Dominicana, ya que se trata de un sector que crea empleo, y representa más del 30% de ingresos de divisas del país y alrededor del 16% del PIB”. Además, aseguró que “desde que llegamos al gobierno en medio de la pandemia nuestro principal objetivo era recuperar el turismo y nuestra filosofía de gobierno se ha basado en mantener un contacto directo con el sector turístico”.

Pablo Casado, President of the Popular Party, also took part in the forum, stating that “tourism in Spain is the best in the world and the public powers must support it”. Casado, who was introduced by Ramón Aragonés, CEO of NH Hotel Group, spoke on the topic: “Consolidating an intelligent tourism recovery: a great State commitment”. He stated that “our commitment is to claim the Spanish tourism model, which has been a successful model and has also been replicated in many European and American countries, and above all it has received the best endorsement, which is the record number of tourists in the last year prior to the pandemic, with 80 million foreign tourists in our country”. In addition, he recalled that “we are the first country in the world in tourism competitiveness,

José Luis Martínez-Almeida, Mayor of Madrid, Antonio Muñoz, Mayor of Seville, and Ramón Aragonés, CEO of NH Hotel Group (moderator) held a discussion with the theme “For profitable and desirable urban tourism for the citizen”. Martínez-Almeida proposed two lines of action in Madrid for 2022: “the consolidation of the recovery of tourism in the city, and the transformation of Madrid as an urban destination”. For his part, Antonio Muñoz stated that “Seville has been and is a tourist city, and is experiencing a large hotel investment, which is an unequivocal sign of confidence.” And he added that “the efforts for 2022 have to focus on the recovery of the tourism sector, focusing on sustainability and digitization.”

New challenges
Gabriel Escarrer, President of EXCELTUR and Executive Vice President and CEO of MELIÁ HOTELS INTERNATIONAL, stressed that this new meeting of the Tourism Leadership Forum “will allow us to reflect and debate not only on the great structural challenges that the Spanish tourism sector has been dragging for many years years, but also about the new challenges that covid has posed as an urgent and necessary approach. And he added that “in the face of the old and, above all, the new disruptions, the sector must respond by favoring those evolutionary processes that improve the differential attractiveness and sustainability of companies and destinations, while empathizing with local societies.” Processes that he grouped around four main axes: “diversify and differentiate our tourist services in a key that is increasingly experiential and of greater added value; reduce the impacts on the social and environmental surroundings; promote the digitization of companies and destinations; and secure and develop the best talent for the new needs of our sector”.

For his part, José Vicente de los Mozos, President of the Executive Committee of IFEMA, stated that FITUR will give visibility to a tourism sector that is having to face a context of enormous complexity. “It is the only tourism fair in the world that has been held every year, but we think that this edition will be even more special because from it the sector makes a clear demonstration of confidence in the 2022 tourist season.” For this reason, “we are proud to celebrate a fair that is close to pre-pandemic levels, with data such as the 56,700 square meters of occupied surface, more than 8 pavilions, more than 7,000 companies, 107 countries represented, and 60,000 professional visitors. face-to-face plus 30,000 online and another 30,000 visitors on public days”. De los Mozos also made a very particular mention of the Dominican Republic, since “we could not have had a better country partner this year to exemplify the importance of the tourism industry in our society.” Finally, he encouraged “taking advantage of the business and knowledge opportunities offered by this fair”.

Next, a colloquium was held on “Post-Covid Tourism: Mega Trends and Future Scenarios”, in which Gabriele Burgio, CEO of Alpitur; Steve Kaufer, CEO of Tripadvisor; Craig Barclay, Vice President & General Manager–Travel & Lifestyle Services–Europe of American Express; Angela Brav, CEO of Hertz International; and Gabriel Escarrer, President of Exceltur and Executive Vice President and CEO of Meliá Hotels International. José Luis Zoreda, CEO of Exceltur, acted as moderator.

For his part, José Ignacio Goirigolzarri, President of Caixabank, who was introduced by Juan Orti, President of American Express Spain, spoke about the “Scenario that will determine the reactivation of the economy and tourism”. While Emilio Gayo, President of Telefónica Spain, presented by José Luis Zoreda, CEO of Exceltur, focused his speech on “Spain and its most immediate digitization challenges”.

Sustainability and digitization
Luis Maroto, CEO of Amadeus, spoke with Nicolas Huss, CEO of Hotelbeds, about “New technologies and models applied to tourism connectivity and distribution”. And Fuencisla Clemares, General Director of Spain and Portugal of Google Spain, discussed “New consumers and disruptive models that will affect tourism”.

Next, another panel was held with the theme “Do we really cooperate?: new public-private tourism governance”, in which Juan Manuel Moreno, President of the Andalusian Government, took part; Francina Armengol, President of the Government of the Balearic Islands; Ángel Víctor Torres, President of the Government of the Canary Islands; Carlos Bertomeu, President of Air Nostrum; Abel Matutes, President of Palladium Hotel Group; and José Luis Zoreda, CEO of Exceltur (moderator). Participating in the Closing Ceremony of the Forum were Gabriel Escarrer, President of Exceltur and Executive Vice President and CEO of Meliá Hotels International; and Reyes Maroto, Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism.