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Maroto foresees that 2022 will be “the year of the recovery of the tourism sector”

The Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, Reyes Maroto , considers that “2022 will be the year of recovery of the tourism sector” as a result of public aid and the improvement of the international health situation and the extension of anticovid vaccines. Maroto assured at the Hotusa Explora forum held in Madrid that in 2021 the Government aid to the sector was 825 million euros, from the hand of the Next Generation European funds. For the minister “it is necessary to take advantage of the opportunity for Spain to maintain its world leadership in tourism” and that for this it is also necessary “to stop measuring success exclusively by the number of tourists” and face a transition that focuses on sustainability of the sector of structural importance for the Spanish economy.

“We are better than a year ago and we have to be optimistic”, said the minister to advance that until November 28.2 million tourists arrived in Spain and another 10 million arrived in the fourth quarter, which represents 64% of those who arrived in 2019 but five times more than in 2020. Hotel profitability has also increased to 48 euros per room, which is 200% more than last year. Maroto has especially highlighted the recovery of employment in the sector, which Although it still maintains furloughs, it has already stood at 11.7% of total Social Security affiliation.

For this year, the Government has planned to distribute around 3,400 million euros in sector projects that are committed to improvements in the sustainability of destinations, especially for island areas but also in improvements to heritage.

Requests from the sector

Amancio López Seijas, president of Grupo Hotusa, has demanded from the Government a Perte or support program for the effective tourism sector, an “essential” tool to overcome a crisis that has located to tourism at ground zero of the pandemic tsunami. The main lines of public-private support should be located, according to López Seijas, in the modernization of mature destinations with the support of private capital, promoting innovation, training personnel, promoting tourist activity in unpopulated areas and promoting transport in a stable labor framework. . The president of the Hotusa group recalled that tourism accounts for 15% of GDP, Spain is the world's leading tourist power, so the sector should not be underestimated, since it is the main passport of the Spain brand, which requires investment.

For the corporate director of Hotusa, Marina López, the current challenge for the tourism sector is to learn to “live with uncertainty” in a framework in which the technological disruption that digitization entails prevails.

The mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martínez-Almeida, has defended Madrid's position in that support for the tourism sector, hand in hand with private initiative. It has conveyed that the city of Madrid is a value for recurring trips by foreign tourists and continues to climb the position as one of the four tourist cities worldwide.

Exceltur forecasts

Maroto has inaugurated the eighth edition of Hotusa Explora, the Tourism Innovation Forum organized by Grupo Hotusa, a prelude to the Fitur tourism fair at a key moment for the revitalization of the sector. For the year as a whole, the Exceltur tourism alliance -which brings together 33 companies in the sector- estimates that tourism GDP will reach 135,461 million euros, 87.5% of pre-pandemic activity levels but 47,000 million above the value of the recent year closed. With this volume, tourism will once again contribute 10.5% to the Spanish economy, but it will still be almost two points below the 2019 values ​​(12.4%).

The recovery will pivot above all on national demand, which has already partially saved the 2021 numbers, and on the average distance, especially to European destinations, because long-haul travel is still very limited, especially from Asia. And in the national market, the leading destinations will once again be those in the north, the so-called Green Spain, and those in the interior, although they will also go up the coasts and the islands.

Within the framework of the Fitur fair

The 42nd of the International Tourism Fair (Fitur) , which is being held this week in Madrid with the presence of almost 7,000 companies and 107 countries, aims to become the accelerator of tourist activity, although the sector believes that the recovery of pre-pandemic levels will not be seen until 2023. The end of 2021 It has complicated the outlook with the expansion of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, it has slowed down the recovery that has been observed since last May and also threatens the numbers for this first quarter, but the sector is confident that this recovery will begin in April. solid.

With the Dominican Republic as a partner country on this occasion sion, the Ifema venue in Madrid, will host some 90,000 people, 60,000 of them professionals, between the next days 19 and 23, the first three only for the sector and the weekend for the general public. The organization has opted for attendance, in a riskier bet than that of the Berlin fair -it will be only virtual in March- although it also maintains the online formats that were already developed in the 2021 edition.

The health security measures, successfully implemented in last year's edition, require for both professionals and the general public, the presentation of the covid certificate, in the case of citizens of the European Union, or the Spain Travel Health QR code, which allows entry into Spain from non-EU countries. In the absence of either of these two documents, a negative test (PCR or antigens) must be submitted within the previous 24 hours and the use of an FFP2 mask will be mandatory.

Exhibitors

With 600 exhibitors and 6,933 companies in eight halls, the figures are still far from the levels of the January 2020 edition, just before the pandemic declared itself (more than 900 exhibitors, 11,000 companies, 165 countries and 250,000 visits) but they substantially improve those of last year, when barely three pavilions were filled.

Ifema anticipates that around 90,000 people will visit the site next week, 60,000 of them professionals who also They will be able to interact through the digital platform, Fitur LIVEConect, already operational since last December 20 and which will continue until February 4.

Among the novelties The fair highlights the first edition of Fitur Cruises, which on Saturday will present its offer to the public to try to relaunch a segment especially hit by the pandemic. At the same time, the Helixa platform will also be activated for the first time, a technological-artistic installation that will allow visitors to create their avatar in real time, a personalized digital twin with which they can interact on digital platforms and in the metaverse. . Related news

As in previous editions, Fiturtechy will be a space for disseminating knowledge and innovation, with four forums on business, destinations, sustainability and future trends. Fitur Know How & Export, organized by Segittur with the collaboration of ICEX; Mice (for business tourism); Screen (to show the connection of tourism and cinema); LGBT+; Talent; Woman, Lingua, and Travel Technology are the other forums that will be held at the Ifema site.

On the margins of the fair, the XXIV edition of CIMET will be held, which will bring together the main Ibero-American tourism ministers and entrepreneurs, the XI Exceltur Tourism Leadership Forum and the Hotusa Forum, spaces for reflection on the situation and the future of the sector.

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