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FITUR 2014 Places the Focus on Technology As the Best Means of Promoting the Industry
Around nine thousand tourism companies will come together between 22nd and 26th January at the trade fair, which has already filled 90% of the exhibition space available.
Between 22nd and 26th January, IFEMA will stage the Thirty-Fourth International Tourism Trade Fair, FITUR, which will once again place the emphasis on technological innovation as the best means of promoting the development of the tourist industry. In this respect, the different business events hosted by the trade fair, which form part of both the exhibition area and a series of different debating forums, will address the latest trends and new technological developments, both of which play a key role when it comes to boosting the industry's competitiveness.

More than 90% of the space available at FITUR has already been contracted, with around 9,000 companies having already confirmed their attendance, which promises some excellent participation prospects on this occasion. In this sense, this staging of the trade fair will take place within a general context of growth within the worldwide tourist market, effectively offering tourism professionals the opportunity to gain access to the different tools employed by FITUR aimed at boosting innovation and competitiveness, the two main challenges within the industry.

One such tool is known as FITUR KNOW HOW & EXPORT, which will be promoted for the second year running by Segittur and the Spanish Foreign Trade Institute (ICEX) and seeks to present the most innovative solutions in tourism management, focusing on its export potential for the foreign markets. This is a forum at which Spanish companies linked to the tourist industry can present their considerable potential and promote their services and products in other markets. This initiative corresponds to the goals being pursued by the Spanish Department of Industry, Energy and Tourism in terms of supporting the transfer and export of Spanish tourism know-how, based on the internationalisation of Spanish tourist companies, effectively helping them to open up new markets and identify interesting projects. The participating companies will take part in an Activities Programme that enables them to discover different business opportunities on all five continents throughout the world. They will also have the chance to gain access to personalised advice regarding their internationalisation prospects with experts from SEGITTUR and ICEX specialising in exports, multi-lateral bodies and initiation programmes such as ICEX-Next. For the first time, SEGITTUR will help participating companies find potential clients with which to hold meetings during the course of the trade fair, all within an exclusive networking area created for this purpose. This participation shall be complemented by a series of panels in which professionals can discover a series of key aspects relating to the internationalisation of companies, based on a number of practical cases and business opportunities throughout the world. Participants will also learn about intelligent tourist destinations and the role that entrepreneurs have to play within the tourist industry.

Within the field of technology, FITUR will also present a new initiative promoted by Segittur and ICEX, aimed at fostering tourism applications, such as digital promotion and sales tools for the sector. In this respect, a Tourism Apps Competition of nationwide scope has been organised that will highlight the best developments in Active Tourism, Sun & Beach Tourism, Cultural Tourism and Other Types of Tourism. At an international level, the Competition will choose the Best Destination Guide App and the App that Best Enhances the Tourist's Experience During His Trip.

Along the same lines, FITUR will tackle the question of third-generation tourism as a key competitive factor for the hotel sector, offering a series of technological solutions for the tourist industry. On this occasion, members of the industry will be able to learn about the most advanced technological trends, Social Networks and low-cost luxury products, amongst other aspects, all of which are likely to shape the future of the hotel business. These questions will provide the focal-point for the exhibition and activities staged within the framework of FITURTECH, the forum organised by the Hotel Technology Institute (ITH). This body also organises FITURGREEN, which offers the hotel sector all of the latest new solutions under the headings of energy saving and efficient hotel and tourism management. Among other projects, the forum will present the key aspects of 360º sustainable tourism, based on the staging of a series of different workshops on the following questions: efficient technologies; analysis of a tourist destination's sustainability; and tools and initiatives that make sustainability possible.

Large Trade Sector Events at FITUR

FITUR 2014 has once again been chosen as the best setting for the staging of two meetings of considerable international importance for the industry. On the one hand, the EXCELTUR Forum will take place at FITUR for the second time, staging its seventh edition on this occasion. This event will bring together a number of prominent figures from the worlds of politics, finance and the tourist industry at a worldwide level, focusing on the following debating point: "Tourism As a Key Factor in Strengthening a Country's Brand". The panels will tackle various issues, such as the following: new challenges regarding the internationalisation of tourist companies; the most important trends according to the leading business leaders; and how to enhance institutional cooperation in order to boost the competitiveness of Spanish tourism and the Spain brand.   On the other hand, the 17th Ibero-American Conference of Tourism Ministers and Businessmen, CIMET 2014, will take place the day before FITUR opens, namely 21st January 2014. This conference will bring together a large number of tourism ministers and representatives from the American Continent.

Also in line with FITUR's endeavours to promote new technologies, the Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism will be staged within the framework of the trade fair. This event will join all of the other trade meetings that the World Tourism Organisation habitually carries out at FITUR.

Initiatives for Promoting Tourism Business

FITUR not only promotes innovation. In its capacity as a forum for the world tourism industry, the trade fair also stands out for its capacity to boost tourism business, which is why it organises initiatives such as INVESTOUR Africa, in conjunction with the UNWTO and Casa Africa. This event serves as a key meeting-point for Spanish businessmen and investors, on the one hand, and tourism destinations on the African Continent, on the other. Each year new investments are made in projects that promote a sustainable model for the region's economic development. In this respect, various panels have been organised in order to tackle different aspects concerning the promotion of development projects, such as connectivity. Furthermore, a packed programme of personal appointments has been organised between potential investors and members of the industry from African tourist destinations.

The same format based on previously scheduled personal appointments shall also be applied to FITUR B2B, which is working on a packed programme of meetings between the different companies and destinations taking part in the initiative and an important contingent of foreign guest buyers.

The exhibition at FITUR will be complemented by a series of monographic sections designed to address the business challenges posed by different strands of tourism, such as gay tourism at FITUR LGBT, the increasingly popular segment of oenological tourism at WINE-BASED TOURISM ACCOMMODATION, and RECEPTIVE TOURISM SPAIN. All of these sections will feature strong levels of representation.

These highly attractive initiatives, sections and projects make FITUR an indispensable event for all professionals and members of the worldwide tourist industry, offering them the opportunity to develop the appropriate strategies for their businesses and gain access to the tools that are essential when it comes to boosting their competitiveness and their presence on the market.
Related Chinese News: 2014FITUR:科技是促进旅游业发展的最好法宝

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