The 2021 edition of the International Tourism Fair, FITUR 2021, which was previously scheduled to be held in the Madrid IFEMA exhibition center on Jan. 20-24, has been postponed till May due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The FITUR Organizing Committee made the decision to reschedule the event for May 19-23 after a meeting held on Monday afternoon.
The Committee, which includes Spain's Secretary of State for Tourism Fernando Valdes, United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili, and President of the Spanish Confederation of Hotels and Tourist Accommodation (CEHAT), Jorge Marichal, decided that although it will take place later in the year, FITUR 2021 will proceed as it is vital for the recovery of the sector which has suffered the worst effects of the global pandemic.
According to the UNWTO estimates, international tourist arrivals fell by 65 percent in the first half of 2020 due to the pandemic, with a 95 percent fall in June, causing losses of around 460 billion U.S. dollars in revenue, with the losses expected to be over a trillion dollars for the year.
Under these conditions, FITUR's role as a driving engine for recovery will be "critical and decisive", said the organizers.
The 2020 edition of FITUR was attended by 11,040 companies from 165 countries and regions, 150,000 industry professionals and 111,000 members of the public.
FITUR is not the only major event rescheduled in Spain because of the pandemic. The 2021 edition of the Mobile World Congress, previously scheduled for the end of February in Barcelona, was also postponed to the end of June.
Spain has been one of the worst coronavirus-affected countries in the world, with the Spanish Health Ministry saying on Tuesday that over 988,322 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the country.