“Investment in tourism and the human factor are two vital issues” that UNWTO has made its priorities for 2023, said its Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili on Tuesday during the reception offered by the Minister of Tourism Reyes Maroto to those attending FITUR, which was inaugurated yesterday by the King and Queen of Spain at IFEMA.
Pololikashvili stressed that, in addition to boosting investment, “we not only have to create jobs, because that is our job, but we must ensure that they are decent jobs”. The UNWTO Secretary-General also called for “continuing to build a new financial architecture” and for “reducing risk for investors, while promoting competitiveness and climate action”.
“Tourism has never been more important for our societies or our economies,” he added. He called on “businesses and governments” to work together to design the tourism of the future. “FITUR is the place to connect the power of the public sector with the energy and reach of the private sector, and UNWTO can serve as the bridge between the two,” he explained, “and only by working together can we harness the enormous potential of tourism to generate positive change and growth”.
Don Felipe and Doña Letizia toured the different pavilions at the Fair, which this year brings together 8,500 participants, including companies from the sector and destinations, from 131 countries. FITUR 2023 will mean an economic injection for Madrid of more than 400 million euros, according to the organisers. It is expected that 120,000 professionals and 90,000 private visitors will attend until it closes next Sunday.
After the inauguration, Don Felipe attended the lunch hosted by the President of Guatemala, Alejandro Giammattei, as this country is a ‘FITUR Partner’ at this edition, where, as Ambassador Mónica Bolaños said, “we will have the opportunity to showcase the enormous cultural wealth, traditions and variety of gastronomy and monuments that we have”.
In addition to the prominent role that FITUR gives to digital transformation, sustainable development and accessibility, this year the organisers have opened a new line, FITUR Sports, which aims to show that sports tourism can also drive sustainable growth in the tourism industry. FITUR Sports thus joins other monographic sections such as Techy, Know-How & Export, Cruises and LGTB+, among others, which aim to promote quality tourism capable of generating jobs.